Photo: Hüseyin Ovayolu
Source: Independent Catholic News
Little Amal will be in Central London on 23rd October, waking up on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral and being welcomed by many faith leaders
Little Amal took her first steps last night, 27 July, marking the start of The Walk and her 8,000km journey from the Syria-Turkey border to the UK. The 3.5m puppet of a nine-year-old Syrian refugee girl started her journey in Gaziantep, Turkey. Many streets in the ancient heart of the city were illuminated by lanterns creating a path for Little Amal to follow to reach a special concert for her at Gaziantep Castle.
The Walk continues until 3 November 2021, through Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany before reaching its finale in Manchester. In each village, town or city she visits Little Amal will be welcomed by major new arts commissions, city-wide community performances and intimate events. All events are free and have been designed by The Walk, in collaboration with each local partner to create one of the most adventurous public artworks ever attempted. Audiences will be able to follow Little Amal’s journey online and across social media, as well as joining in with events in their local area.
Little Amal represents the millions of displaced refugee children separated from their families. Her urgent message to the world is “Don’t forget about us”. Produced by Stephen Daldry, David Lan, Tracey Seaward and Naomi Webb for Good Chance Theatre, the producers of The Jungle, in association with the Handspring Puppet Company, the creators of the War Horse puppets, and led by Artistic Director Amir Nizar Zuabi.
It takes three puppeteers to operate Little Amal; a stilt walker who also brings her face to life and one on each of her arms. There is a total team of eleven puppeteers, including two from refugee backgrounds. The puppet is crafted from moulded cane and carbon fibre.
The Walk has developed an Education Programme which will connect young people from refugee and host communities to forge bonds of friendship. The programme includes:
A 70+ page Education & Activity pack and Teachers’ Notes in six languages featuring illustrations by Syrian artist Diala Brisly. This can be downloaded from The Walk’s website: www.walkwithamal.org/education/activity-pack/
A series of free online education events for teachers and educational leaders “Make With Amal” – an online engagement programme of art activities inspired by Amal’s route.
The Walk today launches ‘City Through Their Eyes’, a new digital guide on the Bloomberg Connects app – a free digital guide to cultural organisations around the world that makes it easy to access and engage with arts and culture from mobile devices, anytime, anywhere – to elevate and celebrate the voices of refugee and migrant artists across Turkey and Europe. Drawing from the cultural richness of their homelands, artists from refugee and migrant backgrounds offer intimate and unexpected insights into the towns and cities they now call home, alongside contributions from people who have lived in these towns and cities all their lives. To coincide with Little Amal’s first steps in Gaziantep, audio guides from artists and cultural leaders across Turkey are now available exclusively on the app. As Little Amal approaches each country on her journey, a new collection guides will be added. The app also offers a suite of six exclusive interviews with the cast and creative team of The Walk.
The Walk brings together celebrated artists, major cultural institutions, community groups and humanitarian organisations as well as municipalities, civic and humanitarian organisations, faith leaders and schools. For a full list of partners please visit: www.walkwithamal.org/friends/
The Walk website contains a donation page which invites the public to help to fund Amal’s journey at £1 per step.
The full programme is available on The Walk’s website: www.walkwithamal.org/events/