Before I die……………an inspirational art work
Death can inspire life. Especially in New Orleans, on the corner of Marigny and Burgundy, where the Before I Die project has used the specter of urban decay and death to create art and inspire. Using a boarded up house as a canvas, artist Candy Chang transformed a haunting reminder of blight and divestment into a powerful affirmation of human life and imagination.
Before I Die is an global public art project that invites people to share their hopes and dreams in public space. Originally created on an abandoned house in Candy’s neighborhood in New Orleans after losing someone she loved, the project is about remembering what is important to you and creating public spaces that better reflect what matters to us as a community and as individuals.Candy Chang wanted to know what was important to the people around her.
“Before I die I want to _______.” so anyone walking by can pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their personal aspirations in public space.It was all an experiment. By the next day the wall was entirely filled out and it kept growing. People’s hopes and dreams made her laugh out loud, tear up, and feel consolation during her own tough times. The wall transformed a neglected space into a constructive one where we can restore perspective, remember we are not alone, and understand our neighbors in new and enlightening ways. The Atlantic called it “one of the most creative community projects ever, and the project was featured on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.
After receiving many requests from people around the world, she and her Civic Center colleagues created the Project Website beforeidie.cc to help people make a wall with their community and share their wall online. Thanks to passionate people around the world, the project has expanded to South Africa, the Netherlands, Mexico, Australia, Portugal, Kazakhstan, and beyond. Taken together, the Before I Die project offers a public space for contemplation and a snapshot of the values our neighbors hold dear.
Here is a formula to make your own wall;