Refugee puppet Little Amal, a performance art piece to highlight forced migration, visited our Canterbury campus after walking 8000km from Syria across Europe to the Kent coast.
Standing 3.5 metres high, 9 year old refugee puppet ‘Little Amal’ had walked nearly 8000km from the border of Syria when she arrived at The Gulbenkian on the 21st October.
Her journey intended to focus attention on the urgent needs of millions of young refugees worldwide and the need to change the narrative around human movement, a powerful subject explored through the focus on Migration and Movement at Kent.
Little Amal set out from Turkey’s Syrian border in July before passing through Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium. Produced by Good Chance Productions, Kent’s leg of The Walk was put together by our Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries (iCCi).
‘Little Amal’s visit to the University of Kent today, is a stark reminder of the geopolitical significance conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and most recently Afghanistan have on forced migration.’ Human Geographer Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem elucidated, ‘We are witnessing a surge of migrants which urgently require our help and shelter. We need to move from forging exclusionary hostile environments to welcoming those fleeing death and destruction. We welcome Little Amal with open arms and should do the same with all refugees in need of protection. Would we not ask the world to do the same if we were in Amal’s place?’
The University of Kent is the only UK university hosting a leg of The Walk – one of the biggest international community arts projects ever produced. Our proximity to the Kent coast, directly corresponds to the hazardous journey taken by so many Internationally Displaced people travelling through Europe. After visiting Canterbury, she travels into London before her 8,000km journey ends in Manchester.
Read more about The Walk here.