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Kent to host a UK leg of The Walk

7 Jun 2021

The University of Kent is delighted to have been chosen by Good Chance Theatre to host a UK leg of The Walk, an 8000km travelling festival of art and hope that aims to focus attention on the urgent needs of young refugees.

The focal point and central figure of The Walk is Little Amal, a 3.5m tall puppet of a young refugee girl designed and built by the Handspring Puppet Company, the world-famous creators of War Horse.

Little Amal will arrive at the University’s Canterbury campus for a series of special events on 21 October, having set out from Turkey’s Syrian border in July. Along the way, she will pass through Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium.

Little Amal, who is a figurative representation of displaced children globally, many of whom have become separated from their families, will carry the message “Don’t forget about us”.

Little Amal’s journey to the campus will take the form of a procession from Canterbury Cathedral, a spectacle that will involve hundreds of local schoolchildren and Kent students. Once on campus, Little Amal and The Walk will be welcomed by representatives from the University’s Division of Arts and Humanities and Refugee Tales, an ongoing project co-organised by Professor David Herd from Kent’s School of English and the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group.

Afterwards, there will be live performances of music, arts and puppetry at the Gulbenkian, ending with an evening of storytelling from Refugee Tales in the Theatre.

The University was invited to participate in The Walk because of its reputation for and prominent role in working towards a better future for detainees and refugees. It is the only UK university to host the project.

The Walk is a Good Chance Production presented by Good Chance, Stephen Daldry, David Lan and Tracey Seaward, and is directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi. It is produced locally by the University’s Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries (iCCi).

David Sefton, Director of Culture and Creative Projects at iCCi, University of Kent, the local producers for The Walk, said: ‘We are looking forward to hosting what promises to be one of the most memorable events in the history of the University and the city. This is a genuinely collaborative project drawing together multiple departments on campus and working with local, national and international partners to create something momentous.’

Find out more about The Walk coming to the University of Kent


ART31 takes its name from Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that ‘Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities’.

ART31 is a vision created with, by, and for young people in Kent, championing the belief that all children and young people have an entitlement to access high quality arts and culture, to empower them to achieve their creative potential, and to genuinely engage young people as equal partners in any decision making that affects them.

The ART31 Youth Board is made up of young people from across Kent aged 13-25 who steer its governance, and influence policy and practice across the county and beyond, challenging the creative sector to examine existing ways of working and integrate young people into the core of their practice.

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