Coventry has welcomed a giant baby puppet into the city as it approaches the end of a 5,000-mile hike from Syria to “rewrite the refugee narrative.”
A crowd of people greeted the 3.5 m (11.5 ft) puppet, called Little Amal, in the city center on Wednesday afternoon.
Little Amal represents a nine-year-old girl traveling, in a project called The Walk.
The puppet, whose name means “hope” in Arabic, began his 8,000km journey in Gaziantep, Turkey, on July 27 and traveled through Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and France.
Organizers said the goal was to shed light on the stories of the millions of displaced refugee children it represents.
Coventry, the current City of Culture, known as a city of peace and reconciliation, is thought to house around 1,500 people seeking refuge.
Julia, who arrived in Coventry from Kenya, said: “Amal is symbolic for many of us.
“I don’t think people understand survival until they’re in a situation. You think ‘why are you running? Why can’t you go to the police?’
“Sometimes it’s not a choice you have when you’re just an ordinary person.”
After Coventry, Little Amal will visit Birmingham, Sheffield and Barnsley before the 14-week traveling street theater concludes in Manchester on 3 November.
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