Avant de Mourir… je veux…

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Before I Die I want to…

From falling in love to becoming a father, finding my purpose, hiking the Appalachian trail, laughing more, visiting all of Italy (hey, why not France?), meeting George Clooney or ending famine, everyone has different items on their bucket list. “Before I Die” is a public art project that invites neighbours to share what is most important to them while transforming a neglected urban space.  Not that this particular part of the city will be neglected for long since the old laundry mat space at the corner of 14th of Q is poised to become a fancy French restaurant…

Candy Chang started the “Before I Die” project in February 2011 on a post-Katrina degraded house a mile or so East of the Tremé neighbourhood.  The public installation artist provided chalkboard panels and the chalk needed to write on it, and watched as a community came together to testify publicly about their hopes, dreams and life ambitions. Since then, the project traveled throughout the US with 12 official walls installed in San Diego, Fairbanks, Brooklyn or Chicago as well as internationally, popping up in cities like Montreal, Lisbon, Melbourne, London and Johannesburg. It seem the D.C. wall, which came up over the weekend, was done independently, using one of the toolkits available on the project’s website by someone wanting to honour the memory of his grandparents.

This isn’t the first such project here in D.C. Last year, City Year played host to a version of the wall, recording instead what students planned to do after they graduate from High School:

“I will have made it” “I will miss City Year” “I will go to College” ~ photo from City Year
Before I die… I want to see the world. And you, what would you like to do before you die?

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