Can a person disappear in plain sight? That’s the question Liu Bolin‘s remarkable works all seem to ask. The Beijing-based artist is sometimes called “The Invisible Man” because in nearly all his art, Bolin is front and center — and completely unseen. Bolin aims to draw attention to social and political issues by dissolving into the background of his work.
As he says, “The attitude of the artist is more important than the content of the creation. It’s life’s struggles, not necessarily artistic skills, that touch people. The process of each life struggle is what we call art, regardless of its form.”
There are a lot of ways the people around us can help improve our lives. We don’t bump into every neighbor, so a lot of wisdom never gets passed on, though we do share the same public spaces.
So over the past few years, I’ve tried ways to share more with my neighbors in public space, using simple tools like stickers, stencils and chalk. And these projects came from questions I had, like, how much are my neighbors paying for their apartments? (Laughter) How can we lend and borrow more things without knocking on each other’s doors at a bad time? How can we share more of our memories of our abandoned buildings, and gain a better understanding of our landscape? And how can we share more of our hopes for our vacant storefronts, so our communities can reflect our needs and dreams today?
Now, I live in New Orleans, and I am in love with New Orleans. My soul is always soothed by the giant live oak trees, shading lovers, drunks and dreamers for hundreds of years, and I trust a city that always makes way for music. (Laughter) I feel like every time someone sneezes, New Orleans has a parade. (Laughter) The city has some of the most beautiful architecture in the world, but it also has one of the highest amounts of abandoned properties in America.
I live near this house, and I thought about how I could make it a nicer space for my neighborhood, and I also thought about something that changed my life forever. In 2009, I lost someone I loved very much. Her name was Joan, and she was a mother to me, and her death was sudden and unexpected. And I thought about death a lot, and this made me feel deep gratitude for the time I’ve had, and brought clarity to the things that are meaningful to my life now. But I struggle to maintain this perspective in my daily life. I feel like it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, and forget what really matters to you.
So with help from old and new friends, I turned the side of this abandoned house into a giant chalkboard and stenciled it with a fill-in-the-blank sentence: “Before I die, I want to … ” So anyone walking by can pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their personal aspirations in public space. I didn’t know what to expect from this experiment, but by the next day, the wall was entirely filled out, and it kept growing. And I’d like to share a few things that people wrote on this wall.
“Before I die, I want to be tried for piracy.” (Laughter) “Before I die, I want to straddle the International Date Line.” “Before I die, I want to sing for millions.” “Before I die, I want to plant a tree.” “Before I die, I want to live off the grid.” “Before I die, I want to hold her one more time.” “Before I die, I want to be someone’s cavalry.” “Before I die, I want to be completely myself.”
So this neglected space became a constructive one, and people’s hopes and dreams made me laugh out loud, tear up, and they consoled me during my own tough times. It’s about knowing you’re not alone. It’s about understanding our neighbors in new and enlightening ways. It’s about making space for reflection and contemplation, and remembering what really matters most to us as we grow and change.
I made this last year, and started receiving hundreds of messages from passionate people who wanted to make a wall with their community, so my civic center colleagues and I made a tool kit, and now walls have been made in countries around the world, including Kazakhstan, South Africa, Australia, Argentina and beyond. Together, we’ve shown how powerful our public spaces can be if we’re given the opportunity to have a voice and share more with one another.
Two of the most valuable things we have are time and our relationships with other people. In our age of increasing distractions, it’s more important than ever to find ways to maintain perspective and remember that life is brief and tender. Death is something that we’re often discouraged to talk about or even think about, but I’ve realized that preparing for death is one of the most empowering things you can do. Thinking about death clarifies your life. Our shared spaces can better reflect what matters to us as individuals and as a community, and with more ways to share our hopes, fears and stories, the people around us can not only help us make better places, they can help us lead better lives. Thank you.
As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was “the best on the planet.” It wasn’t until the famine of the 90s that she began to wonder. She escaped the country at 14, to begin a life in hiding, as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope — and a powerful reminder of those who face constant danger, even when the border is far behind.
Slowly but surely, more and more North Korean escapees are coming out to share their story of the realities of life in North Korea, As Chinese born in 70s, I completely understand what she shared. With the internet development in China, more and more youngsters know what is happening in North Korean, but most may not realize all those happened in own country in past 60 years.
I would like share more NK stories with young people who live in China but may not care about This is not about politic, but about the humanity; it is not about Help Others, but about Redeem ourselves.
Even when our lives appear fine from the outside, locked within can be a world of quiet suffering, leading some to the decision to end their life. At TEDYou, JD Schramm asks us to break the silence surrounding suicide and suicide attempts, and to create much-needed resources to help people who reclaim their life after escaping death.
About the Speaker
JD Schramm teaches future business leaders both the theoretical and practical aspects of communication.Full bio and more links
From all outward appearances, John had everything going for him. He had just signed the contract to sell his New York apartment at a six-figure profit, and he’d only owned it for five years. The school where he graduated from with his master’s had just offered him a teaching appointment, which meant, not only a salary, but benefits for the first time in ages. And yet, despite everything going really well for John, he was struggling, fighting addiction and a gripping depression.
On the night of June 11th, 2003, he climbed up to the edge of the fence on the Manhattan Bridge and he leaped to the treacherous waters below. Remarkably — no, miraculously — he lived. The fall shattered his right arm, broke every rib that he had, punctured his lung, and he drifted in and out of consciousness as he drifted down the East River, under the Brooklyn Bridge and out into the pathway of the Staten Island Ferry, where passengers on the ferry heard his cries of pain, contacted the boat’s captain who contacted the Coast Guard who fished him out of the East River and took him to Bellevue Hospital.
And that’s actually where our story begins. Because once John committed himself to putting his life back together — first physically, then emotionally, and then spiritually — he found that there were very few resources available to someone who has attempted to end their life in the way that he did.
Research shows that 19 out of 20 people who attempt suicide will fail. But the people who fail are 37 times more likely to succeed the second time. This truly is an at-risk population with very few resources to support them. And what happens when people try to assemble themselves back into life, because of our taboos around suicide, we’re not sure what to say, and so quite often we say nothing. And that furthers the isolation that people like John found themselves in.
I know John’s story very well because I’m John. And this is, today, the first time in any sort of public setting I’ve ever acknowledged the journey that I have been on. But after having lost a beloved teacher in 2006 and a good friend last year to suicide, and sitting last year at TEDActive, I knew that I needed to step out of my silence and past my taboos to talk about an idea worth spreading — and that is that people who have made the difficult choice to come back to life need more resources and need our help.
As the the Trevor Project says, it gets better. It gets way better. And I’m choosing to come out of a totally different kind of closet today to encourage you, to urge you, that if you are someone who has contemplated or attempted suicide, or you know somebody who has, talk about it, get help. It’s a conversation worth having and an idea worth spreading.
他的公司，Pallotta Teamworks是个专门为非营利机构筹款的营利性公司；2002年，他们正处于巅峰时，被爆公司的运营成本高达40%，而他们的大部分收入来自募集款项，而他个人也因为领取约35万美元的薪酬，成为众矢之的。赞助商、客户扛不住压力，急流撤出。他的公司，一夜倒闭，声名俱裂。他并没有一蹶不振，2004年成立了新公司Advertising for Humanity，东山再起。他的这些经历被收入哈佛商学院案例，而他本人也是哈佛商业评论网撰写博客专栏。