On Wednesday 10 November, 10 metre tall Goddess of the sea STORM will meet Little Amal – a 3.5 metre tall, 10 year-old Syrian refugee puppet
STORM and Little Amal will be greeted by school and community groups from Govan as they share their hopes for a brighter future
Storm will meet Little Amal after she rises from the wild Scottish waters to walk in Glasgow during the United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP26 – on Wednesday 10 November 2021. Created by Edinburgh-based visual theatre company, Vision Mechanics, Storm is a 10 metre tall goddess of the sea, who has walked on land all across Scotland, carrying a message of the oceans in crisis.
Developed in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21, Storm’s tour throughout Scotland has received funding support from Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund, established by EventScotland in conjunction with funding from Scottish Government, as well as support from Creative Scotland’s Open Fund. The Scottish Government is supporting Storm’s appearance at COP26.
Little Amal is a 3.5 metre tall 10 year-old Syrian refugee puppet, who has recently completed The Walk, a 4 month-long travelling festival of art and hope over 8000 kilometres from the Syrian border to Manchester created by Good Chance Theatre and Handspring Puppet Company.
The two puppets will meet near the old Govan Graving Docks at 13:30 pm. Together they will gaze at the words NO NEW WORLDS floating on the river – an installation from Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative and artist collective, Still Moving – before embarking together on a journey of discovery, inspiration and hope.
Storm and Little Amal will travel through Govan to the former site of ‘Moot Hill’ on Water Row, where debate, democracy and monarchs of the ancient kingdom of Strathclyde give birth to a long history of strong women and activism; where historic giants like Mary Barbour and Isabella Elder were champions of social justice.
A community response to the two puppets, and the powerful messages they carry, has been made possible by two present day women activists and key cultural players in Govan: Helen Kyle from Stage Scotland and Liz Gardiner of Fablevision. Storm and Little Amal will meet children from local Govan primary schools, hear rhymes and music from local rap artists and witness dancers perform.
Storm will rise in Govan at 12:30pm on Wednesday 10 November. In the hour before she meets Little Amal, she will walk Water Row; watch and listen to the Soundhouse Choir, Karine Polwart and artist-led social enterprise Oi Musica perform; witness dancers; and will be joined by the ‘Stitches for Survival’ scarf which has followed her throughout her journey across Scotland – growing longer in each destination as it was prepared for COP26.
Symon Macintyre, Vision Mechanics Artistic Director, said: “We created Storm to walk through the towns and cities of Scotland, to remind us of our commitment to making the changes necessary to tackle the climate crisis. Her journey has been a celebration of our communities, the joy of reconnection with our friends and neighbours and the awesome impact of a 10m tall sea goddess. Meeting Little Amal is a powerful extension of that celebration. This is a project that changed our attitudes to how we will work in the future and has shown me how powerful the arts can be.”
Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth said: “Storm delivers a powerful environmental message about the sea and how we can all play a part in protecting our coastal waters. I am delighted that the Scottish Government and our public bodies have been able to support both Storm’s creation from recyclable materials to celebrate the Year of Coasts and Waters as well as this appearance at COP26. STORM will be an impressive sight as she strides through Govan with the local community arts and music groups supporting her in this compelling interactive event.”Storm is the latest production from Edinburgh-based visual theatre makers Vision Mechanics. Previously they toured the giant puppet Big Man Walking across Scotland, transformed Drummohr House into the world of Oz, and installed Giants in the Forest across the UK. Their work invites people to celebrate and participate in creating memorable and interactive productions on huge scales. Storm is their most ambitious, challenging, and politically resonant project yet.
To offset the carbon footprint that Storm creates through her travels, Vision Mechanics has created a STORM Grove in the rewilding of the Ancient Caledonian led by Trees for Life. These trees hold our promises to tackle climate change and re-wild Scotland. The trees in this grove will create homes for wildlife and forests for the future. Planting trees and watching them grow into a beautiful forest is a hope of a better future for our children. The grove can be added to over time, and anyone who wishes to donate further trees can do so here: https://treesforlife.org.uk/groves/357869/.
Thanks to Storm’s Funders: