We’re thrilled When the Birds Land won Best Performance at Manchester Culture Awards! 

We teamed up with Manchester International Festival, renowned theatre company Good Chance, Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST) and Greater Manchester Schools to welcome Little Amal to Manchester. It was an epic cross-city promenade performance and the finale of one of the most innovative and adventurous works ever attempted, The Walk.

Image of Little Amal puppet against blue sky, and looking closely at trees.

Little Amal is a 3.5 metre-tall puppet of a young refugee girl, created by Handspring Puppet Company. Representing all displaced children, many separated from their families, Amal embodies the urgent message “Don’t forget about us”.

When the Birds Land, a free event produced by Manchester International Festival, marked the end of Little Amal’s epic journey to Manchester from the Turkish-Syrian border. With over 4,000 participants, 110 local performers, ten schools, 14 community advisers, as well as numerous charities and community leaders it was a spectacular welcome to Manchester.

Our creative team of musicians with refugee heritage worked with Women Asylum Seekers Together, Little Heaton Primary and Webster Primary School to raise awareness of refugees, improve wellbeing and create a song together in many languages which they performed together at the event.

Photo of the screen on the night of the When the Birds Land event

Local schools, refugee communities and Manchester International Festival created a giant flock of puppet birds for the event, which acted as guides to Amal and led her to our group as they sang to welcome her. Surrounded and supported by local communities, the event represented the beginning of Amal’s new life in her new home.

“To see that her struggle need not define her…give us (refugees and asylum seekers) all encouragement and hope.”The Walk, Manchester Focus Group

The event was a testament to the power of creative expression to create connections, spark important conversations and bring communities together. Moreover, this award highlights the important contribution of the event, and refugee and asylum seekers more broadly, towards Manchester’s unique and vibrant cultural landscape.

“When you work together with love
you can achieve anything.”

Amir, Survivor

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