20 June 2014

Under The Umbrella Sky

Recently a whole bunch of  umbrellas popped up out of nowhere in Luxembourg City. I had seen a few photos and wanted to see them for myself. And sure enough, suspended above the streets were hundreds of colourful umbrellas. At first, I was amazed because honestly, Luxembourg doesn't often do unusual, random but nice surprises like this but then I asked myself what it was for. Are we to expect impending doom or nothing but rain this summer? If so, was this set up as a precaution? I hoped not, especially because I don't think this would suffice. All I found as an explanation was a sign that read: "Un été pas comme les autres" which translates to a summer like no other. Under that was a list of shops that are taking part in this exhibition. It still made no sense and I was left none the wiser. And being really shy meant I refused to ask anyone.
After taking about a million photos (because it was just so pretty!!), we went to a Brioche Dorée Café, where we got ice creams and sat in the sun, watching everyone else take photos of the umbrellas. Not quite a 99 Flake ice cream, but close enough. Then we went on a hunt for sunglasses. 
When I got home, I spent about 5 minutes doing research on why the umbrellas were there and what it all meant. I checked all of the top news websites (of which there are maybe three) and found nothing. Feeling frustrated but not really surprised, I gave up and went back to resizing the photos. The next day, I decided to google it again and found one teeny tiny little article on wort.lu. They even named it the same as what I had originally planned (I won't lie, this did annoy me. I thought I was being clever and creative with my Umbrella Invasion title.) Apparently, the whole thing is an art installation, named Let the Sunshine In, which is ironic because the umbrellas actually block out most of the sun, but I assume this was on purpose. It isn't entirely original though, because a quick google search of floating umbrellas shows that it has been done before, several times in fact. Does that count as plagiarism then, if they insist on referring to it as art? I would have thought so. Maybe avoid the word art next time. Anyway, it's basically meant to attract tourists and attention and I think it has succeeded.
The whole thing reminded me of one of my favourite books, Un Lun Dun by China Miéville. It tells such a unique and interesting story, which involves "unbrellas" i.e. broken umbrellas. I have read it a million times and never get tired of it and this has reminded me to read it again. 
Have a great Friday!

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