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Szitizens Make ‘Before I Die’ Wishes

Ábrahám Vass 2019.08.13.

In one of Sziget Festival’s most interesting and thought-provoking projects, Szitizens have the chance to write their wishes on a wall for what they’d like to do or experience in their lives. The wall day by day fills up with thousands of wishes and dreams.

Created by the Candy Chang, Before I Die is a global art project that invites people to contemplate mortality and share their personal aspirations in public. The artist, inspired by a long period of grief and depression, aimed to start a conversation, so she covered a crumbling house in her neighborhood in New Orleans with chalkboard paint and stenciled it with the prompt, “Before I die I want to _____,” so anyone walking by could pick up a piece of chalk and share their personal aspirations in public. By the next day, the wall was entirely filled out and it kept growing.

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To date, over 4,000 Before I Die walls have been created in over 70 countries.

It was in 2012 when the art project first came to Sziget. Ever since it has seen a great deal of visitors each and every day. Somewhat as expected, notes vary from funny to deep, well thought out reflections. Interestingly, serious and deep thoughts visibly outnumber funny ones.

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World peace, love, saving someone, and various travel destinations are the most popular wishes. Someone apparently grew fond of Hungarian women, as, according to his note, he wants to marry one before he dies. Italians tend to focus on football, like a Napoli fan wants to win the championship, while a Bari fan just wishes to see his team in the Italian top flight. Sziget is also a popular topic, with one festival-goer wishing the metal stage came back, another just wanting to attend more Sziget festivals before dying.

featured image: Rockstar Photographers (Sziget Festival Official)