Worldwide

Before I Die

Drawing upon Michel de Montaigne’s proposition that “to philosophize is to learn to die,” the Before I Die project reimagines the ways the walls of our cities can help us grapple with death and meaning as a community today. 

New Orleans, Louisiana | Photo by Candy Chang
Grand Rapids, Michigan | Photo by Emily Rose Bennett
Savannah, Georgia | Photo by Trevor Coe
Santiago, Chile | Photo by Bernd Biedermann
Lagos, Nigeria | Photo by Dara Olayebi
Townsville, Australia | Photo by Kim Kamo
Najaf, Iraq | Photo by Ahmed Alameri
Tokyo, Japan | Photo by Shintaro Kuzuhara
Belo Horizonte, Brazil | Photo by Candy Chang
Perm, Russia | Photo by Perm Artillery Museum
Long Beach, California | Photo by Caitlin Shea
Brooklyn, New York | Photo by Shake Shack
Budapest, Hungary | Photo by Banner Casting
Bangkok, Thailand | Photo by Buddhika Network and Thai Palliative Care Society
Córdoba, Argentina | Photo by Jenny Carden
San Francisco, California | Photo by Kristina Kassem
Nilai, Malaysia | Photo by Mass Communication Club of INTI International University
Almaty, Kazakhstan | Photo by Candy Chang
New Orleans, Louisiana | Photo by Candy Chang
Portland, Oregon | Photo by Chere Weiss and Richard Potts
Beersheba, Israel
Before I Die, New Orleans | Photo by Kristina Kassem
Creating Before I Die in New Orleans
Savannah, Georgia | Photo by Francis Allen
Candy Chang creating Before I Die in New Orleans
Candy Chang creating the first stencil
Philadelphia, USA | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone

After the death of someone she loved, Candy Chang created the first Before I Die wall in 2011 on an abandoned house in her New Orleans neighborhood. Since then, over five-thousand walls have been created in seventy-six countries thanks to passionate people around the world. By inviting people to complete the sentence, “Before I die I want to ___,” these participatory installations serve as a memento mori for individuals to contemplate their mortality with neighbors and passersby, and reimagines the ways we remember what really matters in an age of increasing distraction and flux. Learn more at the Before I Die website and check out the book that Publishers Weekly called “a powerful and valuable reminder that life is for the living, and it’s never too late, or too early, to join the party.”

Created in 2011 by Candy Chang in New Orleans, Louisiana. Today there are over 5,000 cities around the world. Chalkboard paint, spray paint, and chalk. Interested in building a wall? Learn more at the Before I Die website.