Out for my daily walk, and l must say l didn’t expect to see a stilt walker on the path ahead of me as l left the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath on my way home.
I had to find out more and luckily was able to stop Rachel for long enough to find out whether this was just a hobby or something she did for a living.
Turns out she’s a performance artist – who lives on a narrow boat on the canal – and is getting used to walking on stilts because she is going to join an amazing project. One that will take people like her on a journey all the way from the Syria-Turkey border, through continental Europe and to Manchester in the UK.
She will be one of the artists helping to operate a 3.5 metre-tall puppet – as a member of The Good Chance Theatre – on the final leg of a 8,000 km journey called The Walk.
The puppet is called ‘Little Amal’, a young refugee girl who has been created by the acclaimed Handspring Puppet Company. Representing all displaced children, many separated from their families, Little Amal’s amazing journey will embody the urgent message “Don’t forget about us”.
At this time of unprecedented global change, The Walk is an artistic response: a cultural odyssey transcending borders, politics and language to tell a new story of shared humanity – and to ensure the world doesn’t forget the millions of displaced children, each with their own story.
The Walk will bring together celebrated artists, major cultural institutions, community groups and humanitarian organisations to create one of the most innovative and adventurous public artworks ever attempted.
Amal will arrive in Manchester in time for the city’s Festival on July 2l st next year. Shame the route doesn’t bring her our way.