Balloons against grenades

Balloons>> Work environment • Kenya

Published: Wednesday 30 November 2011

imageOn November 14, people getting off minibus taxis at Nairobi’s central station looked somewhat bewildered to be handed balloons. They were gifted by US artist Yazmany Arboleda, who said Monday mornings were usually a heavy moment for people and he wanted to give away 10,000 balloons to change this perception.

Kenya has been on high alert since early November when 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. Al-Shabab is Somalia’s most powerful militant group. “Countering grenades with balloons could send an important message,” says Arboleda.

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