What would your ideal world look like?
At first, it feels like a huge question, one almost too big to answer. But after thinking about it, maybe talking it over with some friends, suddenly the answer is right there in front of you.
If you’ve always dreamed of changing the world, this project will set you on your way.
The World We Want is a worldwide project that solicits both a wish and a solution. Giant blackboards are installed in public spaces and have square panels with two fill-in-the-blank statements: “I want to live in a world where…” and “To create this world, I will…”
How would you fill those blanks?
Emergent Savannah, East Taylor Creative and Starlandia Art Supply are bringing the project to Savannah this September so the blanks can be filled and solutions can be found.
To participate in the project, volunteers simply sign a pledge on the website and select from a list how they’d like to get involved.
“It’s super easy,” says Lindy Weimer, designer at East Taylor Creative. “They really have it open to anyone and everyone who wants to be a maker or a contributor. They’re all into getting everyone involved.”
Weimer introduced Emergent Savannah organizer Coco Papy to the project, and the two tapped Starlandia to create the physical walls.
The answers already on the boards from last week’s First Friday Art March range from silly to serious, but opening the conversation is an important first step.
The groups seem pretty different at first glance: Emergent Savannah is a movement to make Savannah a more intentional community, and East Taylor Creative is a design studio focused on user experience and storytelling.
However, both operate under the idea of living intentionally, which made them the perfect candidates for The World We Want.
“Where we want to take [East Taylor Creative] is a focus on storytelling and living intentionally, so that’s kind of how we started to get involved with The World We Want, and working on that got us introduced to Emergent Savannah,” says Weimer.
“It’s great because we’d never heard of it,” adds Papy. “So when Lindy approached us we were like, ‘What’s this great project? How do we do this?’ It really fits with a lot of the things we’re trying to do as an organization.
“It kind of felt fated.”
The World We Want is somewhat similar to Emergent’s Love/Dream project, which invites Savannahians to write what they love about and what they dream for their town.
“It’s an effort to combat not only the apathy that tends to exist here, but also gets people to be excited again,” says Papy. “We really do have a lot to be excited about here, and we can focus our energies to think better.”
Therein lies the beauty of The World We Want — everyone’s ideas go up on the wall. The walls will appear at several different events around town, so anyone can walk right up and participate.
“The world isn’t a level playing field; we can all just put that on the table now,” says Papy. “But I think with something as simple and beautiful as The World We Want, I’m more equal. It doesn’t matter if I’m an alderman saying this, or I make ten dollars an hour saying this. Everyone’s equal and, again, that’s a huge beauty of the project.”
A safe space to share ideas is key in boosting community involvement, since hearing from all perspectives brings attention to and compiles all the issues that people deal with daily. To use Papy’s example, a person working a job just above minimum wage might face a different set of issues than a city alderman.
Creating an open discourse leads to sharing ideas, which builds understanding and can lead to an eventual moment of clarity.
“We always refer to them as lightbulb moments,” says Papy, “where the light might not come on necessarily right then, but the hope is that you’re giving these gentle little pushes like, ‘Hey, if you don’t like the way this is, you can actually do something about it.’”
A network of walls all over the globe increases the chances for those lightbulb moments.
“In September, there are a ton of walls going up all over the place,” says Weimer. “I know there’s one in Brooklyn, Denver, Annapolis, Tel Aviv, Perth. I think it’s really awesome because it’s connected us on a local level, and it’s also going to connect cities to one another. It’s pretty interesting even sitting here talking about it — it can be a very personal thing, but it’s kind of bringing it out and connecting people together, which I think is powerful and doesn’t happen anymore. It’ll be cool to see similarities between locations.”
Creating that discourse is the main goal for right now — “I haven’t thought beyond that because I’m just really excited we’ve gotten here!” laughs Weimer — but in a city that falls victim to apathy, discourse is just what’s needed.
If the project leads more to live intentionally, as far as Weimer and Papy are convinced, that’s a victory.
“What I’ve been learning is that many people don’t intentionally live their days and things start slipping by,” says Weimer. “You start trying to keep up with the Joneses and you do what you think you should be doing. Just kind of stepping back from that and trying to maximize your time for what matters to you, and then just fighting to live that way so each of your days help create your story.”
Start brainstorming what you’ll write on the wall and help keep create that story for our community and our world.
The World We Want’s walls will be up on these dates:
Sept. 12 — Savannah Pride Festival, Forsyth Park, noon-7pm
Sept. 19 — Mixed Greens, Forsyth Park, 9am-1pm
Sept. 25 — Southbound Brewery, 5:30-9:30pm
Sept. 26 — Southbound Brewery, 2-6pm