A Global Footprint

Before I die I want to…visit a Before I Die wall but there are none close to me yet!

With over 2,000 Before I Die walls created in many languages throughout different countries across the globe, it’s safe to say Candy Chang’s participatory public art project is a worldwide sensation.

The interactive wall first began as an experiment after the founder, Candy Chang, an artist, lost a loved one and suffered from depression as a result. Its purpose is to make strangers consider what is truly important to them in life and contemplate death in a somewhat creative way.

Candy created a chalkboard wall on the side of a deserted house in New Orleans in her neighbourhood. The words “Before I die…” were stencilled on it, asking a fill-in-the-blank question for neighbours or visitors to answer, with a personal hope to feel inspired or restored.

Thousands of responses soon filled the wall and in rapid time, it was completely full. Chang then posted a few photos online of the wall and its responses, some including:

“Before I die I want to…be completely myself.”

“Before I die I want to…straddle the International Date Line.”

“Before I die I want to…abandon all insecurities.”

With the power of social media, the images reached thousands of people worldwide. Some were so touched and inspired by the concept of the wall that Candy Chang was soon inundated with messages of people wanting to make their own wall for their community to participate in. It became a public worldwide movement inspiring connection within neighbourhoods and communities, and Candy speaks about the story in a TED talk.

Now, when the board becomes full, it is then washed so people can start over and new ideas can be reborn. The walls come with a resource package upon request and are situated in places like Sydney, Australia, Cape Town, South Africa and Dublin, Ireland.

Before I Die wall in Lodz, Poland 2016. Source: Tomek Nacho

The Atlantic called it “one of the most creative community projects ever.”

There’s something uniquely inspiring about seeing other people’s aspirations and forcing someone to consider what they really want to do before they die, just as they’re walking down the street. CNN asked Candy Chang what themes she believes are the most prominent within responses. They include:

  • Well-being
  • Love
  • Travel
  • Helping others and
  • Family

The concept continues to inspire social media users around the world through the sharing of wisdom, so much so that Candy released a book of the dreams printed on walls. If you’re interested in requesting your own wall to be built within your community, just visit here.

Now, I am interested in knowing if you live near a Before I Die wall? And more importantly, I want to know, what do YOU want to do before you die?





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