A touring art show featuring Amal, a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee, is stopping in Atlanta this fall.
“Our hope for Amal is that she can spur conversations in communities across the country around the important role of refugees and newcomers in writing the ongoing story of the U.S.,” said Amir Nizar Zuabi, artistic director with the Walk Productions.
Amal is designed and built by the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa. The puppet is an international art exhibit that acts as a symbol of human and refugee rights.
Beginning this fall, Amal will be the main focus of the art exhibit, Amal Walks Across America.
Walk Productions will produce the exhibit. It will travel 6,000 miles across the U.S. in an effort to explore issues related to immigration.
The event will see 1,500 artists collaborate to make 250 stops from Sept. 7 to Nov. 5 across the U.S.
The tour will aim to spark meaningful conversations about immigration, identity and American history.
“The story of the U.S. has been shaped by a complex history of migration and movement that touches every corner of the globe. But the myriad challenges of today’s interconnected world are forcing many to revisit America’s status as the land of opportunity,” said Zuabi.
Along the way, specific engagements will invite conversation with:
- North American Indigenous people
- Communities of color
- Recent migrants
- Ancestors of earlier immigrants
“We’ve long believed that artists, grassroots communities and civic society leaders should come together to make art that matters in the real world,” said David Lan, producer for the Walk Productions. “Amal enables that coming together.”
The art tour will stop in Atlanta on Oct. 8 and 10.
THE OFFICE performing arts+film, a global producing and production company that leverages art for social good, will be coordinating the tour. Outreach will be led by The Soze Agency, a social impact creative agency located in Brooklyn.
Amal is inspired by the play The Jungle and the character of Joe Murphy. Created by Joe Robertson, The Jungle tells the story of a refugee camp in Calais, France.
Prior to the American tour this fall, the art tour previously made international rounds. In 2021, Amal made a 5,000-mile trek across Europe in 2021, which began in her journey in her home of Aleppo, Syria.
The American art tour will begin in Boston on Sept. 7 and finish in San Diego on Nov. 5.
“Little Amal’s arrival during Welcoming Week and her journey through American communities offers a profound moment of reflection for our nation as we grapple with who belongs and who has the freedom to move. We are proud to partner with Little Amal, as our member communities work to extend a warm reception that shows the best of who we can be as a welcoming America,” said Rachel Perić, executive director of Welcoming America.
Following the American art tour, Amal will also attend Toronto’s Luminato Festival and Olavsfest, the annual arts festival in Trondheim, Norway.
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