Giant puppet ‘Little Amal’ to visit Liverpool during World Refugee Week
2 years ago
Little Amal is set to journey through England, and visit Liverpool during World Refugee Week 19 – 27 June 2022 to meet new friends and share a message of hope.
Since her now celebrated 8,000km journey from the border of Syria and Turkey, Little Amal, a 3.5 metre puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian girl refugee, has become an international symbol of human rights.
She has come to represent the millions of refugee children including those who have been separated from their families.
One year on from leaving Syria and 5 weeks after her visit to the city of Lviv in Ukraine, she will take part in World Refugee Week by visiting 10 towns and cities across England meeting old friends and making new ones. As always, Amal will be sharing her message of resilience and hope with anyone who has been forced to leave their homes.
Starting in Manchester as part of the city’s now iconic Manchester Day parade, Little Amal’s journey includes spending morning at the ancient stones of Stonehenge, walking through the famous docks of Liverpool, exploring the joys that books can bring in Bradford and Leeds, exploring the Old City and Harbour of Bristol, celebrating with the many festivals of Cheltenham, and dancing in Canterbury and in London. Her journey will end in Folkestone, Kent where she arrived in the UK, standing on the shore remembering the life she left behind in Syria and her very first day in her new home.
Mark Da Vanzo, CEO at Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres said:
“Liverpool has always opened its arms to embrace migrants and refugees. As we look forward to sharing our city with Amal to explore, we know the footsteps she takes will be familiar to many of the Syrian, El Salvadorian and Afghani refugee families we hav eworked with over the years. Arts and culture are powerful ways to create connection and understanding, so our hope is that Amal’s visit will build on the work we’ve been doing and that of our cultural partners, including Museum of Liverpool, Tate Liverpool, Unity and SOLA Arts, serving as a reminder to us all to continue to welcome those who seek sanctuary. ”
Amir Nizar Zuabi, Artistic Director of The Walk, said:
“As the invasion of Ukraine began the whole world, governments and citizens, proved that when we’re willing to respond to the urgent needs of refugees we can accomplish astonishing feats of compassion and generosity. New Steps, New Friends, Amal’s Walk through England in June will remind us that, if we choose, we can welcome and care for all refugees, regardless of their skin colour, their religion or their background.”
Little Amal will visit Liverpool on Tuesday 21 June, during World Refugee Week.
She will learn about her new country’s history of migration, often joyful and often complicated.
As she explores this place of arrival and departure for hundreds of years, Amal will reflect on her own journey to the UK. She thinks about the many people who arrived the UK, in whose footsteps she now walks.
It takes three puppeteers to operate Little Amal, a stilt walker whose legs become Amal’s and who also animates her face one puppeteer on each of her arms. There is a team of ten puppeteers, some from refugee backgrounds. The puppet is crafted from moulded cane and carbon fibre.
Little Amal represents the millions of refugee children separated from their families. Her urgent message to the world is “Don’t forget about us”. The Walk is produced by David Lan, Tracey Seaward and Stephen Daldry for The Walk Productions in association with the Handspring Puppet Company and led by artistic director Amir Nizar Zuabi.
New Steps, New Friends is supported by Choose Love.