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Little Amal

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Produced by Birmingham Rep, Little Amal will make her first-ever visit to Birmingham city centre on Thu 23 Jun. The free event and festivities will begin at 11.30am outside the Council House in Victoria Square before Little Amal then walks across the city centre, through Chamberlain Square, concluding in Centenary Square.

Along the route Little Amal will stop to meet different ‘families’ made up of relatives, friends and community groups for a special photo portrait by acclaimed Birmingham photographer, Dr. Pogus Caesar. Each portrait will be set against giant moveable photo frames that will pop up along Little Amal’s route; photographer Jaskirt Boora will document her journey. Birmingham and West Midlands based community groups taking part include Journey Asylum Seekers Group, Women & Theatre, City of Sanctuary schools, Stories of Hope and Home, RESTORE and Refugee Action.

This theatrical installation celebrates Birmingham’s diverse population and introduces Amal to everything Brummie.

Little Amal’s New Steps, New Friends tour of England will mark World Refugee Week, Sun 19 – Mon 27 Jun.

Price

Free

Supported By

Birmingham City Council in partnership with Active Arts

New Steps New Friends is supported by Choose Love

Walk Produced By

David Lan, Tracey Seaward and Stephen Daldry for The Walk Production in association with the Handspring Puppet Company and led by Artistic Director Amir Nizar Zuabi

Start Time

11.30am, outside the Council House in Victoria Square

New Steps, New Friends Trailer

Since her initial 8,000km journey from Syria, Little Amal, a 3.5 metre puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian girl refugee, has become an international symbol of human rights. She has come to represent the millions of refugee children including those who have been separated from their families.

During New Steps, New Friends, Little Amal will also visit Manchester, Stonehenge, Liverpool, Bradford and Leeds, Bristol, Cheltenham, Canterbury and London. Her journey will end in Kent where she arrived in the UK, standing on the shore in Folkestone remembering the life she left behind and her first days in her new home.

It takes three puppeteers to operate Little Amal, a stilt walker whose legs become Amal’s and who also animates her face, one puppeteer on each of her arms. There is a team of ten puppeteers, some from refugee backgrounds. The puppet is crafted from moulded cane and carbon fibre.

Little Amal represents the millions of refugee children separated from their families. Her urgent message to the world is “Don’t forget about us”.

Accessibility: 

The access point will be in The Rep foyer, available with leaflets, refreshments and seating. On the day, look out for access workers in high-vis who can provide immediate assistance as well as guidance to these points. The route is wheelchair accessible. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch.

Sensory Description:

We are anticipating this to be a big event, with large crowds of all ages gathering to walk with Amal. There will be young drummers from Commonwealth Connections Schools performing throughout the walk and there may be flash photography. We are hoping that it will be a warm day, so please bring hats, sunscreen and anything else you might need to be comfortable. Then again, it is Birmingham so bring an umbrella just in case!

We are extremely honoured to be producing Little Amal’s first-ever visit to Birmingham’s city centre, marking World Refugee Week. Little Amal is not only an arresting and beautiful moment for the public to be a part of, but a rousing symbol of human rights that is so relevant in our world right now. We look forward to introducing Amal to the ‘families’ that make up our rich and vibrant city.” Rachael Thomas, Executive Director

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