Andrea D’souza

Our idea was to try and know what people wish for today. Are people materialistic or spiritual? How wishes differentiate with gender and age. Does class difference play a role in people’s wishes as well?

We are working in a group of two for this project, initially we placed boxes which said “POST YOUR WISH” at various locations (Clifton: a beauty parlor, IVS, Dolmen Mall, and Qayyumabad: church, Saddar). We noticed that people weren’t really responding to it, so we started going up to them asking them to write down their wish and put it in the box.

This process leads us to a different experience. Females responded more as compared to males and there were vast differences in their wishes. Females mostly wished for the well-being and health of their families, their wishes were more emotionally connected. Whereas majority of males wished for money/material. We had various experiences with everyone whom we asked to post a wish, some had no wishes, some were too shy to express, some didn’t want to share, and there were a few who thought we would make fun of them. What surprised me was that majority of them asked a similar question that was “Are you going to grant them?”

We went through all the wishes that had been collected ( 150 till today) and further divided them into categories from most common to least, these categories included  people, money/material, family, mate acquisition, peace, occupational, travel, religious.

People/family-these wishes included desire to talk or to be with people not available due to death or various seperations.Happiness of others, well-being of children.family 1family

Money/material-these wishes included desire for wealth.material

Skills/power- these wishes included desires for various abilities.

Mate acquisition-finding a wife or husband, love.mate

Success/occupation-wishes included success in exams, jobs, career, and desire to come in a particular profession.succ3

Health-desire for personal health, weight reduction, health of others.health

Travel-to travel the world.

Peace/political: peace in country, peace of mind.peace

Good care of pets, like: dogs.  dog

There are further classifications done as well in relation to age and gender where as we are still debating on the fact that if class differences play a role in wishes.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

First Draft

 

”You are so part of the world

That your slightest action contributes to its reality.

Your breath changes the atmosphere.

Your encounter with others alter the fabrics of their lives,

And the lives of those who come in contact with them”

Jane Roberts.

 

What do people wish for today? It’s the first question that came to my mind. Wishes are something very personal. It brings forward people’s dreams that are almost subconscious until written down, also wishes mirror their feelings and the position they have in society.

We have always heard as well as experienced class differences in our society. I then wondered, if class difference could possibly play a role in the wishes people had. So I decided to take this thought forward into the site project we were to work on. We worked in a group of two for this project. Initially we placed boxes that read “POST YOUR WISH” at various locations, such as Clifton, IVS, Dolmen mall, Qayyumabad and Saddar.The experience we faced was different for each area we placed the box at. When we placed the box for the first time not many people responded to it. They did notice it but didn’t bother to make themselves a part of it. We then thought of going up to people, asking them to write down their wish and put it in the box. This process leads us to a different experience.

Since acts like these don’t happen in everyday public space hence some people were really suspicious as to why would a stranger come up to them and ask them for their wish. Asking someone for their wish is a very personal thing, I mean how often do people come up to you asking for your wish. Some even thought it’s not a normal thing to do, some had no wishes, some were too shy to express, some didn’t want to share, and there were a few who thought we would make fun of them. What surprised me was that majority of them asked a similar question that was “Are you going to grant them?”

We managed to collect a number of hundred and fifty wishes from various locations keeping in mind areas that have people of all class; our next step was to go through each one of them. We then tried to place them into a number of categories.

Firstly categorizing the wishes from most common to least, and then further categorizing them into gender and age. We had a long debate on the initial idea that was, does class differences play a role in wishes and the answer that we ended up with is at some point yes it does.

Another experience we faced was that females responded more as compared to males and there were vast differences in their wishes.

Females mostly wished for the well-being and health of their families, their wishes were more emotionally connected. Whereas majority of males wished for money/material.

The wishes that were most common between people from all classes are further classified  into the following categories, People/family:these wishes included desire to talk or to be with people not available due to death or various separations.Happiness of others, well-being of children.Money/material:these wishes included desire for wealth. Skills/power: these wishes included desires for various abilities. Mate acquisition:finding a wife or husband, love.Success/occupation:wishes included success in exams, jobs, career, and desire to come in a particular profession. Health-desire for personal health, weight reduction, health of others.Travel:to travel the world. Pet:well-being of pets.

We here are making the wishes of these individuals our subject. The audience I believe is any person who is being a part of it, and before whom we discuss the collected wishes.

There are a number of inspirations for this work that I came up with, one being a book that I read by the name “The book of wishes” by Clifford A.Pickover.

And the other an interactive public art project done by Candy Chang in 2011. “Before I die”. This project invited people to share their personal aspirations in public space. Chang created this experiment on an abandoned house in her neighborhood to create an anonymous place to help restore perspective and share intimately with her neighbors while remaining an introvert. Meant as a singular experiment, the project photos spread online and after receiving hundreds of requests, Chang created a website with resources on how to make a wall. Thanks to passionate people around the world, over 500 Before I Die walls have been created in over 70 countries, including Kazakhstan, Iraq, Haiti, China, Ukraine, Portugal, Japan, Denmark, Argentina, and South Africa.[1]

Practices and activities like these changes everyday public space into not so everyday public space. At first people passing by react with a mix of indifference and curiosity but eventually start being a part of it.

Footnotes

[1]Candychang.com, (2014).Before I Die. Last accessed [24 November 2014], < http://candychang.com/before-i-die-in-nola/>

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Final Essay

What do people wish for today? It’s the first question that came to my mind. Wishes are something very personal not everyone would want to share them with others because I believe wishes mirror people’s feelings and the position they hold in society.

We have always heard as well as experienced class differences in our society, which made me think if class differences could possibly play a role in the wishes people had. So I decided to take this thought forward onto the site project we were to work on. We worked in a group of two for this project. Initially we placed boxes that read “POST YOUR WISH” at various locations, such as Clifton, IVS, Dolmen mall, Qayyumabad and Saddar.The experience we faced was different for each area we placed the box at. When we first placed the box not many people responded to it. They did notice it, but didn’t bother to make themselves a part of it. We then thought of going up to people, asking them to write down their wish and put it in the box. This process leads us to a different experience.

Since acts like these don’t happen in everyday public space hence some people were really suspicious as to why would a stranger come up to them and ask them for their wish. Asking someone for their wish is a personal thing, I mean how often do people come up to you asking for your wish? So we decided to make this not so common activity a common one. We went up to people at various public spaces (Malls, restaurants, roads, building that we live in), asking them a simple question ‘Would you like to post in your wish?’ We spoke to them in languages they were comfortable with, mostly Urdu and English. The responses we received varied from person to person. Some people thought it was a kind of joke, some were curious, some wanted to know the reason why they were being asked such a question, some even thought it’s not a normal thing to do, some had no wishes, some were too shy to express, some didn’t want to share, and there were a few who thought we would make fun of them. What surprised me was that majority of them asked a similar question that was “Are you going to grant them?”

What we experienced from the people whom we spoke to is that a simple act of asking people their wish is not considered common today also people seek for a level of trust from the person they are sharing their wish with.

We managed to collect a number of hundred and fifty wishes from various locations keeping in mind areas that have people of all class; our next step was to go through each one of them. We then tried to place them into a number of categories.

The reason for which we placed them into categories is that; the wishes collected belonged to people from different class, by putting them down into categories we could have a better understanding to our earlier question, that is, ‘does class differences also lie in the wishes people make’. As a result to the categorization of wishes, what we came across is that class differences do play a role in the kind of wishes the younger generations have but parents no matter what ever class they belong to always wish for the well being of their children.

The wishes were first categorized from most common to least, and then further into gender and age. Another experience that we faced was that females responded more as compared to males and there were vast differences in their wishes.

Females mostly wished for the well-being and health of their families, their wishes were more emotionally connected. Whereas majority of males wished for money/material.

The wishes that were most common between people from all classes are further classified  into the following categories, People/family-these wishes included desire to talk or to be with people not available due to death or various separations. Happiness of others, well-being of children.Money/material-these wishes included desire for wealth. Skills/power– these wishes included desires for various abilities. Mate acquisition-finding a wife or husband, love.Success/occupation-wishes included success in exams, jobs, career, and desire to come in a particular profession. Health-desire for personal health, weight reduction, health of others.Travel-to travel the world. Pet-well-being of pets.

We here are making the wishes of these individuals our subject. The audience I believe is any person who is being a part of it, and before whom we read the collected wishes.

 There are a number of inspirations for this work that we came up with, one being a book that I read by the name “The book of wishes” by Clifford A.Pickover.

And the other is an interactive public art project done by Candy Chang in 2011. “Before I die”. ‘This project invited people to share their personal aspirations in public space. Chang created this experiment on an abandoned house in her neighborhood to create an anonymous place to help restore the importance of that place and share intimately with her neighbors while remaining an introvert. Meant as a singular experiment, the project photos spread online and after receiving hundreds of requests. Thanks to passionate people around the world, over 500 Before I Die walls have been created in over 70 countries, including Kazakhstan, Iraq, Haiti, China, Ukraine, Portugal, Japan, Denmark, Argentina, and South Africa’.[1]

Like how Chang tried to experiment on an abandoned location to restore the importance of that place, in a similar way a part of our project tried to restore interactive public activities and practices.

Practices and activities like these changes everyday public space into not so everyday public space. At first people passing by may react with a mix of indifference and curiosity but eventually some begin to be a part of it.

 Footnotes

[1]Candychang.com, (2014).Before I Die. Last accessed [24 November 2014], < http://candychang.com/before-i-die-in-nola/>

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