The Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv is always filled with pedestrian traffic. But anyone walking past Gate 3 in mid-December would have found the sidewalk a bit more congested than usual thanks to a huge chalkboard set up at this entrance to the shopping mall.
The chalkboard is the local version of New York artist Amber Rae’s inspiring public art project, The World We Want.
“The goal of the project is to invite communities to connect more deeply to themselves and each other,” the Brooklyn-based artist and entrepreneur says of the interactive chalkboard wall.
A group of Israeli social activists helped bring about Tel Aviv’s version of the wall. Many passersby stopped to fill in a wish for the world they’d like to see, writing in Hebrew and English.
Answers to Rae’s original two questions that appear on the walls — “I want to live in a world where…” and “To create this world, I will…” — are being documented by the organizers. They photograph the messages and then erase some of them so that others can add their ideas.
“I want to live in a world where religions are not a source of conflict,” reads one message on the Tel Aviv chalkboard.
“I want to live in a world where people don’t need to hide from themselves,” reads another note.
“I want to live in a world where there is peace,” reads a third message.
“The response has been amazing. They read it, they participate, they have dialogue with one another and they share. They spill their hearts and put on this wall what they really want to see and what they’re willing to do to make it happen,” one of the local organizers, who requested not to be named, tells ISRAEL21c.
The World We Want installation started at the Dumbo Art Festival in Brooklyn, New York, on September 26, 2014. The idea next popped up in Chicago and Boulder.
In the last quarter of 2015, hundreds of communities around the globe launched their own walls as a temporary installation of three days to three weeks. The Tel Aviv wall’s lifespan is December 18-23, 2015.