Londoners can soon catch a glimpse of Little Amal, a 3.5-metre tall puppet making an 8,000 km journey from the Syria/Turkey border.
The Walk is an epic arts project to raise awareness of the refugee crisis. The puppet's progress across Europe is being marked by hundreds of cultural events, each of which encourages us to reflect and act on the issues affecting young refugees.
According to the project's website, "[Amal] will walk for all the children – many unaccompanied and separated from their families – who are forced to undertake extraordinary journeys under life-threatening conditions. Little Amal will walk so that we don’t forget them."
The Walk is staged by Good Chance theatre company, with puppetry by Handspring Puppet Company, best known for their legendary work on War Horse.
London appearances of Little Amal
Little Amal (which means 'hope' in Arabic), will reach the UK later this month (October 2021). You'll be able to see her en route from Folkstone from 19 October, and she'll be making two special Spotlight Event appearances in London a few days later:
On 23 October at 10am, a road-weary Little Amal will reach the Great West Doors of St Paul's Cathedral. In a free outdoor spectacle on the steps of the cathedral (just turn up), "spoken word and music collide in an extraordinary event of welcome directed by Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia, Tina The Musical)".
On 24 October, at 4pm, Amal will reach Trafalgar Square for her birthday celebrations. Acts including Boy Blue will put on a free performance to mark the event, and anyone can attend for free.
After that, Little Amal will continue her journey north, reaching Coventry on 27 November and Manchester on 3 November for the finale. It'll be quite a sight but, more importantly, it's also quite a cause. The refugee crisis we see today is only likely to get worse as climate change and political upheavals provoke new conflicts. We need Little Amal as much as she needs us.
Donate to The Walk's Amal Fund here.