The current plight of refugees in Ukraine reminds us of children the world over who are forced to leave everything they know in times of conflict, and undertake dangerous journeys. ‘Little Amal’ – a 3.5m puppet of a young, Syrian girl, was walked 8,000km by four puppeteers in 2021 to highlight the bewildering circumstances child refugees find themselves in, as they try to find peace and acceptance a long way from home.
‘The Walk’ which resulted was an amazing feat of puppeteering and an exercise in empathy and understanding. Little Amal’s walk saw the creation of hundreds of cultural events to welcome her along the way, though, and was mostly greeted with love.
Take a look at the highlights of Little Amal’s Walk …
How did they do it?
Little Amal and The Walk, which took place in 2021, was a collaboration between Good Chance Theatre, The Walk Productions, and Handspring Puppet Company (who also created the Warhorse puppets).
“Little Amal must travel 8,000km through 8 countries crossing many contrasting terrains. To build a puppet capable of such a physical challenge, Handspring has carefully crafted Little Amal from robust but lightweight materials such as cane and carbon fibre so that she can be operated for extended periods in varying conditions.
It takes four puppeteers to bring Little Amal to life: one on each arm, one supporting her back and one inside walking on stilts. This fourth puppeteer also controls ‘the harp’, a complex tapestry of strings that animate Little Amal’s face, head and eyes.”Handspring Puppet Company
Little Amal Photo Credit: Ashraf Hendricks