Congratulations to Nicole Kenney for Before I Die I Want To

We are pleased to announce that Nicole Kenney’s Before I Die I Want To is the recipient of the Macktez 2008 Summer Stipend.

Thank you to all of this year’s finalists.

In Nicole’s words: “What do you want to do before you die? Hearing hundreds of different answers to this question from hundreds of different people makes one wonder: What creates human desire? What motivates people to take action in their lives? What values do we hold as a society? And what values do other societies around the world find important? The Before I die I want to… project was inspired by a combination of factors: The death of the Polariod, a psychologist’s tool called safety contracts, and a passion to get people to think about what is really important in their life through this simple stripped-down question.”

Excerpts from our illustrious panelists’ comments about the project:

“This is an interesting approach to capturing a specific moment in time: The end of Polaroids and the participants’ state of mind when the photo is captured.”

“I liked the psychological aspect — Not only documenting, but bringing about change and making people realize their dreams.”

“It’s a very human idea. I have a personal fondness for dying technologies, vinyl records, audio cassettes, etc. And so I understand where the motivation comes from. I imagine this could make an intriguing book or documentary and the parallels with Michael Apted’s Seven Up documentaries make for a relevant frame of reference.”

“An unexamined life is not worth living,’ so said Socrates. The considered life puts that into action: Examining the choices you make on a daily basis and the feelings you have. This project captures perfectly, in a way that doesn’t feel didactic, the need for all of us to lead more considered lives. Following up on these people also provides them with a way to check on their own wishes, and the evolution of the wishes, through the years.”

“I like this simple stripped-down project with large implications and meaning. It is beautiful, poignant, and has the ability to touch and move many people.”