Little Amal, a young refugee, embarked on a remarkable journey – an epic voyage that is taking her across Turkey, and across Europe. To find her mother. To get back to school. To start a new life. Will the world let her? Can she achieve what now seems more impossible than ever?
Following the phenomenal international success of The Jungle, Good Chance, in collaboration with the world-famous creators of War Horse, Handspring Puppet Company, is presenting its most extraordinary work yet: The Walk – a travelling festival of art and hope in support of refugees, with Artistic Direction from Amir Nizar Zuabi.
July to November 2021: Hope is Built Step by Step
In 2021, from the Syria-Turkey border all the way to the UK, The Walk is bringing together celebrated artists, major cultural institutions, community groups and humanitarian organisations, creating one of the most innovative and adventurous public artworks ever attempted.
At the heart of The Walk is ‘Little Amal’, a not-so-little, 3.5 metre-tall puppet of a young refugee girl, created by the Handspring Puppet Company. Representing all displaced children, many separated from their families, Little Amal is travelling over 8,000km embodying the urgent message “Don’t forget about us”.
At this time of unprecedented global change, The Walk is an extraordinary artistic response: a cultural odyssey transcending borders, politics and language to tell a new story of shared humanity – and to ensure the world doesn’t forget the millions of displaced children, each with their own story, who are more vulnerable than ever during the global pandemic.
Little Amal represents the thousands of children who, just like her, have fled war and persecution and need access to education and essential support to rebuild their lives. To make this possible, the company has launched The Amal Fund with Choose Love and Good Chance. If you read this story on Happy Ali and have been moved by her journey, please donate so they can help young refugees like Amal to build a more hopeful future.
Throughout history, the movement of people has fuelled human progress, enriched culture and accelerated the acquisition of knowledge. The Walk is a celebration of migration and cultural diversity that will tell the story of the contributions made by refugees and immigrants. It represents the refugee story as one of potential, success, respect, hospitality and kindness.
“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
Art affirms our shared humanity regardless of language, culture, finance or education. It is therefore believed that The Walk has the power to create lasting change. Telling the stories of people who are often marginalised, feared or pitied can help transform their lives — and our own.
Across the route, The Walk is bringing together exceptional artists of every kind to create a unique participatory outdoor cultural event. Everywhere Little Amal goes, individual artists and communities are welcoming her with city-wide festivals and performances of poetry, music, theatre and dance.
With events streamed online, an international audience will be able to join all those who welcome Little Amal into their homes and towns to share her story and the stories of the thousands she meets on her way.
Did You Know?
- More people are living as refugees than at any time since World War II.
- Almost half of the world’s refugees are children, millions of whom are unaccompanied.
- The average length of time refugees remain without a home is 20 years, a lifetime for children who can lose their entire education and any chance of a better future.
- Less than 2% of all humanitarian aid funding goes to education.
- COVID-19 further threatens the potential of millions of young refugees. The impact is worse for young refugee women and girls who already have less access to education than young men and boys