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Hallam students join The Walk – a travelling festival of art and hope in support of refugees

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25 October 2021

Hallam students join The Walk – a travelling festival of art and hope in support of refugees

Sheffield Hallam students are set to welcome Little Amal, a 3.5 metre puppet of a 10-year-old refugee girl, as part of a travelling festival of art and hope in support of refugees

Press contact: Greg Mattocks-Evans | g.mattocks-evans@shu.ac.uk

Little Amal, a 3.5 metre puppet of a 10-year-old refugee girl.
Little Amal, a 3.5 metre puppet of a 10-year-old refugee girl. Photo credit: Simon Annand

The Walk, organised by theatre company Good Chance, brings together artists, theatres, community groups and humanitarian groups with the aim of creating one of the most innovative and adventurous public artworks ever attempted.

At the heart of The Walk is Little Amal, created by Handspring, the company which created the equine puppets in the hit show ‘Warhorse’.

She will arrive in Sheffield on Friday 29 October on the penultimate stop of a journey that began on the Syria-Turkey border and will end in Manchester.

The 8,000km journey represents the stark reality faced by all children forced to leave their homes and their families and aims to ensure the world doesn’t forget them at a time when they are more vulnerable than ever during the global pandemic.

She will be welcomed by a performance from Stand and Be Counted Theatre Company.

Little Amal will then travel to Tudor Square where Sheffield Hallam University students will perform a suite of choreopoems aimed at expressing the thoughts and feelings of the students about welcoming a child refugee like Amal to Sheffield.

Inspired by the work of Ntozake Shange - an Afro-American poet and playwright, the choreopoems will combine poetry, movement, music and song to present a 'stream of consciousness' based narrative.

Stasha Moujoury is one of the students who will be performing as part of the ensemble.

Stasha said: “Working on this project has been a mind broadening experience: On a personal level, it has definitely helped me settle in Sheffield faster and grow my confidence, as it has given me the comforting sense of belonging to a global community.

“It has been a fun ride of meeting people, making new friends, learning to listen, cooperate and communicate with each other, whilst exploring our creativity.”

Another group of students, led by senior lecturer Tom Payne and Stand and Be Counted theatre company, will share their own short autobiographical audio stories that will be available to listen to on the day through QR codes located around Tudor Square.

Tom Payne, senior lecturer in acting and performance at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity, which is enabling students from all years of the degree to collaborate with professional artists and external organisations in order to develop and present creative responses to the themes associated with this major international art project.”

Finally, Sheffield Hallam Acting and Performance will be collaborating with local artists in order to share video projections on the Town Hall as Little Amal moves into the Peace Gardens. This will include Performance Lecturer Dr Tom Payne’s special animation of Andrew Motion’s iconic poem ‘What If?’ presented with kind permission from Off the Shelf Festival of Words.

More details and timings for the events are available here

In this story

Explore the people, themes, departments and research centres behind this story

Press contact

Greg Mattocks-Evans

Contact us

For help with a story or to find an expert

Email: pressoffice@shu.ac.uk
Phone: 01142 252811

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