Words by Megan Whitehead, Staff Writer
The streets of London last week welcomed Little Amal, a 3.5 metre puppet who has made a journey of 4,970 miles across Europe in search of her brother and is now being used to show support for refugees.
The giant puppet was originally showcased in “The Jungle’ – a play produced by Good Chance Theatre, representing the hundreds of unaccompanied minors in the Calais camp left without families. Little Amal herself was made by the Handspring Puppet Company, famous for their artwork and puppets in ‘Warhorse’.
This year, Little Amal has walked across Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and the UK, in an endeavour to focus attention on the needs and displacement of young refugees.
Her journey, coined ‘The Walk’, began in Gaziantep, Turkey, on the 27th of July, and will end in Manchester on the 3rd of November. Over the past three months she has been met by notable figures such as Pope Francis in Rome and Jude Law in Kent. Her journey follows in the footsteps of the estimated 17,000 refugees who have already made the same crossing of the Channel just this year as they are forced to flee conflict and poverty.
Little Amal, whose name is Arabic for ‘hope’, has made her journey with a twenty-five-person entourage across Europe and will be travelling to London attractions this week such as the National Theatre, Somerset House and Trafalgar Square. Her journey aims to shine an urgent light on the hazardous lives of young refugees and the need for action, solidarity and protection.