Before I Die

I ran across this website and literally stopped in mid surf. At first blush, it looks like any other urban renewal project.


Before


After

But look closer. There’s something amazing going on here.

A woman named Candy Chang turned the side of this abandoned house in New Orleans into a giant chalkboard and titled it Before I Die. Residents and passer-byes can share their hopes and dreams on the wall, providing a way for people to connect with each other and find out what matters most to the people living around the corner of Marigny and Burgundy.

How amazingly wonderful is this? Okay, yes, it could still be considered graffiti, but graffiti with an altruistic purpose. I was uncontrollably sucked into looking at all the photos and reading about her project. According to her site, Candy Chang is a public installation artist, designer, urban planner, and co-founder of Civic Center who likes to make cities more comfortable for people.

When the wall was filled, the responses were documented (for a future book) and it was washed clean to begin again. In three days, it was filled again. Wash and repeat. Wash and repeat.

 

Does anyone else think this is simply fabulous? Talk about making a person evaluate their life! For those who took it seriously, it might be the first time they ever wrote down a goal, or acknowledged what was important to them. How much better would life be if all these goals were achieved? And the fact that it’s in New Orleans…a city that still seems to be struggling to recover from Katrina…makes life all the more full of promise.

What would you write on the wall?

For more amazing photos of this project, click HERE.
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7 thoughts on “Before I Die

  1. Awesome! New Orleans? My brother lives just outside, I’ll have to ask him if he has heard of this. Being heard or seen makes us feel valid, what an opportunity to make people feel worthwhile and encourage them to chase their dreams!

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