Little Amal takes her first steps for the start of the walk
Little Amal took her first steps last night, July 27, marking the start of The Walk and her 5,000 mile journey from the Syrian-Turkish border to the UK. The 3.5m puppet of a 9-year-old Syrian refugee girl began her journey in Gaziantep, Turkey. Many streets in the ancient heart of the city have been illuminated with lanterns, creating a path for little Amal to follow to a special concert for her at Gaziantep Castle.
The March continues until November 3, 2021, through Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany before reaching its final in Manchester. In every village, town or town she visits, Little Amal will be greeted with new major art commissions, city-wide community performances and intimate events. All events are free and were designed by The Walk, working with each local partner to create one of the most adventurous public works of art ever. The public will be able to follow Little Amal’s journey online and on social media, as well as participate in events in their region.
Little Amal represents the millions of displaced refugee children separated from their families. His urgent message to the world is “Do not forget us”. Produced by Stephen Daldry, David Lan, Tracey Seaward and Naomi Webb for Good Chance Theater, producers of The Jungle, in association with the Handspring Puppet Company, creators of the War Horse puppets, and directed by Artistic Director Amir Nizar Zuabi.
It takes three puppeteers to operate Little Amal; a stilt that also gives life to his face and one on each of his arms. There is a total team of eleven puppeteers, including two from refugee backgrounds. The puppet is made from molded cane and carbon fiber.
The Walk has developed an education program that will connect young people from refugee and host communities to forge friendships. The program includes:
- An education and activity pack of over 70 pages and notes for teachers in six languages ââwith illustrations by Syrian artist Diala Brisly. This can be downloaded from The Walk website: http://www.walkwithamal.org/education/activity-pack/
- A series of free online educational events for teachers and education leaders
- “Make With Amal” – an online engagement program for artistic activities inspired by the Amal Road.
The Walk today launches âCity Through Their Eyes,â a new digital guide to the Bloomberg Connects app – a free digital guide to cultural organizations around the world that makes it easy to access and interact with arts and culture at from mobile devices, anytime, anywhere. – raise and celebrate the voices of refugee and migrant artists across Turkey and Europe. Drawing on the cultural richness of their country of origin, artists from refugee and migrant backgrounds offer an intimate and unexpected glimpse into the towns and villages they now call home, alongside contributions from people who have lived in these cities all their life. To coincide with Little Amal’s first steps in Gaziantep, audio guides from artists and cultural leaders from across Turkey are now available exclusively on the app. As Little Amal approaches each country on its journey, a new collection of guides will be added. The app also offers a suite of six exclusive interviews with the cast and creative team of The Walk.
The March brings together famous artists, major cultural institutions, community groups and humanitarian organizations as well as municipalities, civic and humanitarian organizations, religious leaders and schools. For a full list of partners, please visit: http://www.walkwithamal.org/friends/
The Walk website has a donation page which invites the public to help fund Amal’s journey at Â£ 1 per stage.
The full program is available on The Walk website: http://www.walkwithamal.org/events/