24/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 23:35

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 25th Apr 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
  • Amazon revenue up but offset by increasing expenses

    Internet retailer Amazon reported a 32% jump in profits to $108m (£64m) in the first quarter of 2014.
  • European election candidates in Northern Ireland revealed

    Ten candidates will be vying for three European parliament seats in Northern Ireland, it has been confirmed.
  • Barclays in $280m settlement with US regulators

    Barclays agreed to a $280m (£167m) settlement with the US Federal Housing and Finance Authority (FHFA).
  • Ditchling Museum and Tate Britain vie for Art Fund Prize

    A village museum in East Sussex will go up against Tate Britain and the new £35m Mary Rose Museum in a contest to be named the UK's museum of the year.
  • Scottish independence: Ed Miliband makes case for Union

    Scottish independence would leave working people north and south of the border worse off, Ed Miliband has claimed.