Little Amal, the internationally-celebrated 12-foot-tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl, will be arriving in Atlanta on October 8 and 10 as part of her epic 6,000-mile journey across the United States this fall. Throughout the two-month trek, which will span more than 35 U.S. cities and towns for 100+ events, some of the country’s most influential cultural institutions and artists will come together to greet Amal and add their unique color to the rich tapestry of America’s story.
Flux Projects, in partnership with the Center for Puppetry Arts, the Decatur Arts Alliance, the City of Decatur, MARTA Artbound, and Welcoming America will welcome Amal to Decatur.
Amal Walks Across America is produced by The Walk Productions in association with the Handspring Puppet Company.
“One thing to take”
The number is staggering: 43.3 million. 43.3 million Children have been forcibly displaced from their homes since the end of 2022, according to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. In a world ravaged by conflict and displacement, it is the children, the most vulnerable among us, that bear the weight of the unimaginable suffering of displacement.
Yet, amidst the chaos and against all odds, a remarkable source of solace emerges: the stuffed animal. It is almost iconic. While nothing can replace their homes or heal their scars, stuffed animals have emerged as steadfast companions to our refugee children: a constant source of emotional support, companionship, comfort and a tangible reminder of happier times.
These comfort creatures mark the countless miles with their child, provide entertainment and engagement during the inevitable long hours of isolation and uncertainty. They become beacons of hope, carrying the dreams and aspirations of refugee children, helping adapt to new circumstances and relieve some of the emotional distress and help these young souls to learn, grow, and reclaim a piece of their stolen childhoods.
Join us in Decatur as we welcome Amal and ensure she has a stuffed animal for her journey. Children of all ages are invited to bring their own stuffed animals to join the celebration.
About the Artist
The puppet of Little Amal was designed and built by Handspring Puppet Company, which created the puppets for the international hit play War Horse, establishing them as one of the most important puppet companies in the world.
Founded by Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones (with Jill Joubert and Jon Weinberg) in South Africa in 1981, the Handspring Puppet Company continues to explore, innovate and push the boundaries of puppetry and contemporary performance. Deeply inspired by traditional puppetry – such as the Bunraku puppeteers of Japan and the Bamana puppeteers of Mali – Handspring fuses ancient craft, technical innovation and modern dramatic themes. Over four decades, the company has collaborated with world-renowned artists, directors, musicians, actors and theatre groups performing in 295 cities in 30 countries.
“One thing to take” was created by the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. The Center for Puppetry Arts is a unique cultural treasure — a magical place where children and adults are educated, enlightened and entertained. Since 1978, the Center has introduced millions of visitors to the wonder and art of puppetry and has touched the lives of many through enchanting performances, curriculum-based workshops, and the hands-on Museum, as well as Digital Learning and Outreach Programs.
Amal’s visit to Decatur is sponsored by MARTA Artbound and the City of Decatur.
The national program Amal Walks Across America was made possible with an inaugural investment from the Doris Duke Foundation, as well as leadership support from the Bezos Family Foundation. Additional generous support was provided by the Backstage Trust, the Barr Foundation, Sunny Bates, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Choose Love, The Conrad Prebys Foundation, the Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, Ruby Lerner, the McMillan Stewart Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, Opportunity Fund, The Shapiro Foundation, Students Rebuild, the Thorne Cox Family Foundation, and Barbara Tober in honor of Diane Love.
Amal Walks Across America is produced by The Walk Productions in association with the Handspring Puppet Company. U.S. Producing Partner THE OFFICE performing arts+film. Impact + Outreach The Soze Agency. Marketing Cause Lab. PR + Communications DKC.