23 Jan 2024

Adelaide to welcome Little Amal


The Australian premiere of The Walk, with Little Amal at its centre, will be welcomed with open arms to the 2024 Adelaide Festival thanks to funding from the Government of South Australia.

Little Amal, the internationally celebrated 3.5-metre-tall puppet of a 10-year old Syrian refugee girl, has become a global symbol of human rights, especially those of refugees. Since 2021, she’s travelled to 15 countries, visited 90 cities and been welcomed by two million people on the street and by tens of millions online. Her journeys are festivals of art and hope that draw attention to the huge numbers of children fleeing war, violence and persecution, each with their own story. 

The Australian premiere of Little Amal’s journey at Adelaide Festival will feature three days of free celebrations on the final weekend from Friday 15 March – Sunday 17 March. Among the events she will participate in, highlights include: an official welcome at Festival Plaza, joining the Port Adelaide Football Club supporters as they march across the footbridge ahead of a Port Adelaide AFL game, a visit to a school, being welcomed to Rundle Mall by the Lord Mayor, and her participation in the Adelaide Festival event Floods of Fire at The University of Adelaide.

South Australian Premier, Peter Malinauskas MP said it is a delight to announce the Australian premiere of a world star in Little Amal and extend a warm welcome to her to Adelaide.

"As the grandson of Lithuanian and Hungarian refugees, I understand the profound impact when the Australian nation opens its collective heart to the plight of refugees and migrants," Premier Malinauskas said.

"This thoughtful work has been made possible by the State Government’s additional $2.3 million investment in maintaining Adelaide Festival as the nation’s pre-eminent arts event. These investments help drive interstate and international visitation to Australia, providing tens of millions of dollars of economic benefit for South Australians.”

Minister for Arts, Andrea Michaels MP said securing the Australian premiere of Little Amal is a win
for South Australia and it will be the jewel in the crown of this year’s Adelaide Festival.

"It is testament to South Australia’s reputation as the heart of the arts in Australia and the State Government will continue to invest in cementing that legacy," Minister Michaels said. 

"My family became refugees following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and Little Amal’s journey symbolises not only a shared human experience of millions of people across the globe but also the way that artists and festivals can help change society for the better, inspire us all and bring us together as a community.”

Artistic Director of Adelaide Festival, Ruth Mackenzie CBE said Little Amal's remarkable journey 
brings into focus the heartbreaking stories of children escaping the horrors of war, violence, and 

"In welcoming her to Adelaide Festival, we celebrate not just transformative art but also 
recognise its potential as a force for positive change,” Ms Mackenzie said. 

Artistic Director of The Walk, Amir Nizar Zuabi said there is something in the act of welcoming a stranger; it redefines not only them but also us and we eagerly anticipate sharing this experience with Adelaide during Amal's inaugural visit to Australia.

"I think that’s part of what we’re trying to create when walking into places that have a beautiful, complicated, defining history," Mr Zuabi said.

"Amal, a symbol of millions of children, transforms a simple walk into a deeply meaningful act. As a community breathes together and walks alongside Amal on the streets, it becomes an expression of unity and shared humanity."