Little Amal is visiting the iconic Liverpool waterfront on Tuesday 21st June from 12pm-2pm, as part of her new journey through England for World Refugee Week (20-26 June).
After embarking on a 8,000km journey from Syria to Manchester last year, the 3.5 metre tall puppet, which embodies a 10-year-old Syrian refugee, is travelling to 11 locations as part of her ‘New Steps, New Friends’ tour, including Liverpool’s historic waterfront where she will learn about the city’s history of migration alongside Tate Liverpool and National Museums Liverpool.
Becoming a guest of honour for two hours, the visit will see Amal welcomed to Royal Albert Dock with support from Liverpool FC Foundation’s Inclusion team, inviting her to put her football skills to the test outside of the Martin Luther King Jr Building. Liverpool FC Foundation’s Inclusion team deliver a Refugee Football programme weekly, providing four sessions to over 150 refugees across the city.
Following this, Amal will make her way down Hartley Quay, towards Tate Liverpool where she will meet 60 children from Smithdown Primary School who will be taking part in art activities. The children are part of the gallery’s Tackling the Blues project, partnered with Edge Hill University and Everton in the Community, which uses arts-based education to support young people aged 6-16 who are experiencing, or are at risk of developing, mental illness.
Little Amal will also visit Ugo Rondinone’s florescent sculpture, Liverpool Mountain, which stands tall at 10 meters in Mermaid Courtyard, making the perfect photo opportunity for Amal to remember her time at Royal Albert Dock.
Following this, National Museums Liverpool will encourage Amal to become part of the Museum of Liverpool’s community archaeology team at Piermaster’s Green, investigating the lives of people who lived and worked on the docks, before offering the opportunity to reflect on Liverpool’s long maritime history, as well as its links to the transatlantic slave trade.
As a final farewell from her time at the waterfront, Asylum Link, a local choir supporting asylum seekers and refugees in the city, will perform for Amal on the Museum of Liverpool’s steps as the perfect parting gift before she continues her journey with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatre.
Little Amal will finish her visit to Liverpool with a trip to a local primary school where she will join the children playing games and getting creative with art activities. The children include those from families the Everyman and Playhouse have worked in partnership with SOLA Arts to support, as well as those with a refugee background.
Nathan Powell, Associate Director for Community and Young People, said:
“When arriving in a strange new place, where there isn’t a common language or experience, the creative arts can be really helpful in developing a communal understanding and connection. Our partnership with SOLA Arts over the years has been fruitful for all involved and Little Amal’s visit will be a moment of shared joy and togetherness for the families we’ve been supporting.”
Helen Legg, Director of Tate Liverpool and Chair Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, added:
“Amal’s visit to Royal Albert Dock during world refugee week provides an important moment to reflect how the movement of people is central to Liverpool’s history and identity. Liverpool has a reputation for welcoming people, where today’s migrant is tomorrow’s citizen, and we hope Amal enjoys interacting with the children and their art during her visit.”
Liz Stewart, Interim Head of Museum of Liverpool, said:
“It’s a real honour to welcome Little Amal to Liverpool, especially during Refugee Week. Amal has travelled many miles and visited many cities, so it’ll be very special for her to take time to reflect on the history of Liverpool’s waterfront, as she looks across our docks, and watches our archaeology team uncover their stories before she peeks to the future, as we show her our exciting Waterfront Transformation plans.”