Some 30 students from Medellin’s EAFIT University orchestrated an on-campus flash mob on Wednesday to draw attention to themselves and their beautiful city, which is once again suffering from a resurgence of bitter violence.
The flash mob, put together by professor Andres Raigosa, involved the students folding several hundred paper planes on which they had each scribbled random personal messages. The group of young people then assembled outside the University Library where they invited passers-by to contribute a message an an airplane.
At 12 noon, following a lively countdown, the eager crowd launched their paper planes into the air amid much cheering and jubilation. For several minutes little white jets filled the sky before falling to earth, littering the courtyard flagstones.
Accoding to Raigosa, the flashmob was intended to be an expression of youthful spontaneity, a chance for young people to attract positive publicity to a city yet again enduring an increase in bloody conflict and bad press.
“It was a chance to make a fun public statement, because we can,” said Raigosa.
Afterwards, the planes were collected, unfolded and the messages they bear will be displayed, photographed and published across internet networking sites throughout Colombia.
In addition to the numerous amateur video cameras there was also a press photographer from Medellin based newspaper El Mundo present to capture the event.
“A real success, I am thrilled … I hope many people find out about us,” declared Raigosa as the crowd began to disperse.
The general sentiment appeared to be that anything that can publically shed a ray of optimistic light on this marred but thriving city is undeniably worthwhile and thoroughly well received by Medellin’s proud inhabitants.