Amal is nine years old and comes from Syria. Like many other children, she traveled thousands of kilometers to escape the war and find refuge in Europe.
Changing the outlook on migrant children
This giant puppet tells the story of migrant children. Her journey, which left Turkey at the end of July, will take her to England, making some fifty stops across the continent.
The South African company Handspring Puppet Company is at the origin of this artistic performance entitled “The Walk” which aims to sensitize the populations to the fate of migrant children.
“The idea is to recreate the journey that millions of people have taken in order to pay homage to them in some way, says David Lan, producer of The Walk. _ “We decided that it would not be us who would walk, but that it would be a child, like the hundreds and thousands of young people, very young people, who made this journey to find safety.”
Assisi, a stage full of symbols
On her long journey through Europe, Amal arrived in Assisi, one of the most important spiritual centers on the continent.
It was in Assisi that took place in 1986 the very first interreligious meeting promoted by Pope John Paul II. It is therefore a very symbolic step for this puppet which represents all those who seek refuge in Europe against war and poverty.
“If this migratory route still exists in the streets of the world, with children, refugees who feel lost, who walk to reach a hug, a home, to make a dream come true … All of this tells us that humanity has lost his way “, underlines Father Enzo Fortunato of the Order of Saint Francis.
Assisi is therefore a stage loaded with symbols to change the way people look at the migrants’ odyssey. It is here that Saint-François d’Assise was born, whose teachings still resonate today, underlines Stefania Proietti, the mayor of the city: “Saint Francis taught us to embrace the leper, to welcome the other and to consider him better than we consider ourselves. He taught us to approach the other even if he belongs to a religion, to a different culture. “
Four people are needed to operate the legs and arms of this 3.5 meter high puppet.
After Italy, Amal will also pass through France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and finally England. His arrival in Manchester is scheduled for November.