Throughout the world, 79.5 million people have been forcibly displaced, and 26 million of them are refugees. Many people are vaguely aware of the plight of refugees worldwide, but most have no idea of just how dire the situation truly is. In an effort to shed light on this horrific crisis, a puppet by the name of “Little Amal” is going on an 8,000-kilometer journey, beginning at the border of Syria and Turkey.
“Little Amal” is an oversized puppet (3.5 meters tall, to be exact) created by the Handspring Puppet Company. The puppet is the star of “The Walk,” a project with artistic direction from Palestinian playwright and director Amir Nizar Zuabi. “The Walk” has been described as a “traveling festival of art and hope in support of refugees.”
Little Amal’s tour will begin in April 2021 at the Syria-Turkey border. From there, it will hit 70 different cities throughout Europe, stopping in countries like Greece, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France, and Belgium. The tour ends in the United Kingdom, appropriately, at the Manchester International Festival, which will take place in July of 2021.
At first, “The Walk” might seem, primarily, like a political stunt. The project’s backers have a different view, though, and say it goes far beyond politics.
In a statement about “The Walk,” Good Chance Theatre, the London-based production company behind the project, said that Little Amal’s tour is a “cultural odyssey” that transcends “borders, politics, and language.”
The aim of the project’s creators is to tell a story of shared humanity, as well as to do their part to make sure people don’t forget about the millions of displaced people, particularly children, across the world, each of whom has their own unique story.
You can learn more about “The Walk” or donate to Little Amal’s journey to raise awareness by visiting the project’s website.