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The Walk

Posted by Team APATA | Oct 21, 2021

Have you been following The Walk?

The Walk is an international work of public art in the form of Little Amal, the 3.5 metre-tall puppet of a young Syrian refugee girl has been walking across Europe since July to highlight the plight of young refugees – many unaccompanied and separated from their families – who are forced to undertake extraordinary journeys under life-threatening conditions.

“It is because the attention of the world is elsewhere right now that it is more important than ever to reignite the conversation about the refugee crisis and to change the narrative around it. Yes, refugees need food and blankets, but they also need dignity and a voice. The purpose of The Walk is to highlight the potential of the refugee, not just their dire circumstances. Little Amal is 3.5 metres tall because we want the world to grow big enough to greet her. We want her to inspire us to think big and to act bigger.” Amir Nizar Zuabi, Artistic Director of The Walk

Little Amal is based on a character from the hit play The Jungle by Good Chance Theatre – the Theatre of Hope.

The Jungle,” written by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, “is an intense remembrance of the now bulldozed camp in Calais, France. There, thousands of refugees who had escaped drought, war, and strife-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East waited for their “good chance” passage to Britain. The Jungle invites audiences into a faithfully replicated Afghan restaurant, where endless cycles of survival and threat, failed social contracts, creative thought and action, compassion, and empathy unfold.”

Little Amal Creation and Construction: Handspring Puppet Company

Travelling 8,000km across 8 countries and passing through town and cities who welcome her, Little Amal had to be built to last, while being lightweight enough to be operated. Creation and construction of the giant puppet was left up to Handspring Puppet Company. The South African team that brought the award-winning play, War Horse alive on stage.
Since 1981 Handspring have developed a connection with their art and activism, and use their platform, the Handspring Trust, to advocate for puppetry arts and engage in meaningful arts development for youth in South Africa. Being involved with Little Amal and The Walk is but one of Handspring’s explorations into how puppetry can create connection.
Handspring are long-time collaborators of the Barrydale Puppetry Parade building reconciliation in the apartheid community of Little Karoo and creating year long, and ongoing arts education opportunities for the area’s displaced citizens and youth. Watch the film Oliphantland to learn more.

Learn with Amal

Young people and schools can join in The Walk by downloading the education and activity packs, themed around Amal’s journey. Each challenge is flagged with the age group it best suits and includes teachers notes and a certificate of completion. Walk with Amal education here.


The Walk’s Amal Fund, with Choose Love : https://www.walkwithamal.org/the-amal-fund/

This festival of welcome will end in November when Amal reaches her destination, travelling from Gaziantep near the Turkey-Syria Border to Manchester in the UK.

We hope you follow Amal as her journey comes to a close and that The Walk inspires us all to “think big and to act bigger.”



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