The Walk: UWC & Boschendal Wish Little Amal Safe Travels

“The world is on the move. Our climate is changing; a pandemic keeps us apart. We’re working with artists from around the world, bringing communities together to tell bigger stories of hope and humanity.” – Good Chance

As South Africa celebrated Heritage Day this year, Boschendal Estate in Franschhoek provided an ideal backdrop for the first steps of Little Amal, a three-metre puppet created by the Handspring Puppet Company from South Africa to represent the plight of a refugee child.

As Little Amal walked through the tranquil orchards of the Boschendal Estate, guided by puppeteers from Ukwanda Puppetry and Design Collective of the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape, she took the first steps of what promises to be a spectacular international event in the global search for hope in our troubled times.

Little Amal will bring attention to the plight of the refugee child as part of a bold vision of Good Chance, a London-based arts initiative that is behind the 8000 kilometre walk across Europe in 2021. From the Syria-Turkey border all the way to the UK, 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.

To mark the occasion of its official launch, the University of the Western Cape, in partnership with Boschendal Estate, would like to wish Little Amal well on her long walk to freedom as she sets out in search of her mother – and a liveable life.

We encourage all our friends across the globe to join us in sharing in the promise of this international public art event – and to support The Walk by following and popularising the journey, or making a donation to the initiative by Good Chance. Join us – and let us build a world inspired by the story of resilience and a shared humanity.

For more information, please consult the attached PDF – or watch The Walk Video.

The Gift of Little Amal

The Walk is a Good Chance Production presented by Good Chance, David Lan and Tracey Seaward. Little Amal was created by Handspring Puppet Company.

Good Chance began in the Calais Jungle refugee camp in 2015, where it built the first ever ‘Theatre of Hope’, to bring people living in the camp together into our geodesic Dome for conversations, connections and creations. After the camp was demolished, Good Chance created the play The Jungle, to shine a light on the refugee crisis and start a global conversation around immigration. The Jungle had critically acclaimed sold-out runs from the Young Vic theatre and London’s West End, to New York and San Francisco, and will return to tour the US in 2021.

Amir Nizar Zuabi (Artistic Director) is an award-winning theatre writer and director. Amir was an associate director of the Young Vic, a member of the United Theaters Europe for artistic achievement, and an alumni of The Sundance Institute Theatre Program. Alongside The Walk he is the Artistic Director of ShiberHur Theater Company, is creating a show for Rkestatren Theater in Stockholm, and is writing a new play for the National Theatre in London. His writing and directing credits include I am Yusuf and This is my Brother, In the Penal Colony, Oh My Sweet Land The Beloved (ShiberHur/Young Vic); Three Days of Grief, West of Us The Sea, Mid Spring Musical, Dry Mud, Against A Hard Surface (ShiberHur); Last Ward, Who Killed You Asmahan, The Huta and Grey Rock (La Mama NYC). Directing credits include: Samson and Delilah (Flanders Opera, Antwerp); Jidarriya by Mahmoud Darwish (Edinburgh International Festival, Bouffes du Nord and world tour); Forget Herostratus, Le Mallade Imaginer, War or More, Sneeze, Deep Sorrow, Fall Tale, When The World Was Green, Lanterns Of The King Of Galilee, Taha and The Comedy of Errors (Royal Shakespeare Company).

David Lan (Producer) is a writer and theatre producer. David was Writer-in-Residence at the Royal Court 1994/1996 and Artistic Director of the Young Vic 2000/2018 during which time many shows he produced played in the West End and in New York winning many major awards. He was Consulting Artistic Director at the Pearlman Performing Arts Center in NY 2014/2016 and is currently Theatre Associate at BAM where he produced Medea in early 2020. His books include Guns and Rain: Guerrillas and Spirit Mediums in Zimbabwe and a memoir, As if by Chance: Journeys, Theatres, Lives, published earlier this year.

Tracey Seaward (Producer) has been instrumental in many interesting projects to hit audiences around the world, from producing the Oscar-winning film The Queen to bringing the Queen and James Bond together for the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. Tracey’s producer credits include Danny Boyle’s Millions, Fernando Meirelles’ Academy Award-winning The Constant Gardener; David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises; Steven Spielberg’s War Horse; eight movies with Stephen Frears, including BAFTA and Academy nominated Dirty Pretty Things, The Queen (for which she won a BAFTA for Best British Film and a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination); Tamara Drewe, Philomena for which she received a further Golden Globe, BAFTA & Academy Award Best Film nomination; Golden Globe nominee for Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant; and Victoria & Abdul. In 2012 she once again collaborated with Danny Boyle producing the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Tracey’s latest film, The Two Popes, was nominated for 4 Golden Globes, 4 BAFTAs, and 3 Academy Awards.

The Handspring Puppet Company was founded by Artistic Director Adrian Kohler and Executive Producer Basil Jones in 1981 in Cape Town, South Africa, and has grown under their leadership for 30 years. Handspring’s work has been presented in more than 30 countries around the world. The company is widely recognised as South Africa’s pre-eminent puppet theatre company with work spanning three decades of creating theatre for adults and children. Handspring’s work has established its signature of artistic excellence through the use of finely crafted puppets within a live theatrical context. The marriage of the disciplines of Fine Art and Theatre is at the heart of the discipline of puppetry in general and Handspring’s work in particular. The run-away hit play War Horse, produced by the National Theatre in London, has established Handspring as one of the most important puppet companies in the world, affording the company the opportunity to further develop the art form they are so passionate about. Little Amal, the 3 metre-tall puppet of a young Syrian refugee girl at the heart of The Walk, is Handspring’s latest inspired creation.

Please support The Walk to support young refugees. If you are interested in sponsoring a country or a leg of the journey that is meaningful to you, or in otherwise making a donation, please contact Philip Cowell on (+44) 7984 870 736.