01/Sep/2014 - Last News Update: 12:02

Kenyan workers given yellow balloons to cheer up

Category: Entertainment

Published: 7th Nov 2011 12:58:47

An artist has given thousands of yellow balloons to Kenyan commuters to take to work and counter their Monday-morning blues.

The BBC's Kevin Mwachiro says people getting off minibus taxis at Nairobi's central station looked somewhat bewildered to be handed the balloons.

Yazmany Arboleda, the US artist behind the stunt, told the BBC Monday mornings were usually a heavy moment for people.

He said he wanted to give away 10,000 balloons to change this perception.

I believe strongly that countering grenades with balloons could send an important message”

"The big idea is to insert the iconography of celebration... [into] the habitual nature of working life," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme, as a team of his helpers handed out the balloons to hundreds of workers arriving by matatu taxis in central Nairobi early on Monday morning.

"We're celebrating them as they go to work and explaining that art is not just a photograph or a sculpture or a painting - it is this choreographed set of balloons as they spread throughout the city."

Kenya has been on high alert for the last three weeks since the government sent troops to Somalia in pursuit of al-Shabab militants it blames for a spate of recent kidnappings.

Since then there have been two grenade attacks in the city, blamed on sympathisers of the group.

"I find that this work is even more significant now that Kenya's social climate has been dampened by the al-Shabab threats and the recent attacks," Mr Arboleda said in a statement.

"I believe strongly that countering grenades with balloons could send an important message to the Nairobi community and the world at large," he said.

He said the balloons handed out in Nairobi were a living sculpture, part of his worldwide installation called "Monday Morning".

Nairobi is the third city he has given away 10,000 balloons during a Monday-morning commute. Over the last year, orange ones have been handed out in Bangalore, India, and green balloons to residents of the Japanese city of Yamaguchi.

As part of the continuing project, he plans to dole out balloons in four more places - in Europe, Colombia, Australia and finally New York.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2011. Kenyan workers given yellow balloons to cheer up [Online] (Updated 7th Nov 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/200224/Kenyan-workers-given-yellow-balloons-to-cheer-up [Accessed 1st Sep 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Woodford sells HSBC shares on 'fine inflation' fears

    One of the UK's most high-profile fund managers, has said he has decided to sell his holding in HSBC, because he is worried about "fine inflation".
  • BBC World Service boss Peter Horrocks to step down

    The director of the BBC World Service, Peter Horrocks, is to leave the corporation in the New Year, it has been announced.
  • Scott Rogers: Shot TV host faced grand jury appearance

    A British man shot dead in the United States was due to appear before a grand jury on the day he was killed.
  • Electronic nose 'sniffs faeces to detect infection'

    Sniffing faeces with an "electronic nose" can detect strains of bacteria that can cause deadly infections, say UK researchers.
  • Boy hit by lorry on crossing named as Leo Gregory from Exeter

    A 12-year-old boy who died after he was hit by a skip lorry on a zebra crossing has been named by police.