Arts and activism platform Tse Tse Fly Middle East will be resident at Guest Projects from March 5 to April 1. The month-long residency will feature a selection of events under the banner title Al-ḥarb al-ʼahliyyah as-sūriyyah and marks the eighth year of the Syrian Civil War. The residency is intended to draw attention to the multiple layers of humanity affected by the civil war, disrupting preconceptions and kick-starting conversations about how the modern world reacts to human rights and socio-political catastrophes.
On the evening of March 13 Tse Tse Fly Middle East present In (reaction). Founded in the Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus’ Yarmouk, (reaction) are a group of filmmakers who have produced experimental film and documentaries that explore their experiences of war, life in the camp, and dual identities as Syrian Palestinians. The In (reaction) event will feature screenings of the collective’s short films followed by a live discussion (via Skype) with Hasan Tanji, (reaction) member, Salim Sala-mah, an activist and migration expert from Yarmouk, and Emir Nader, journalist and member of Tse Tse Fly Middle East. Entry will be free.
On March 16 Tse Tse Fly Middle East host a free children’s workshop with participants making three Middle Eastern percussion instruments from household recyclables. The riqq is a frame drum / tambourine, the kalimba is a thumb piano and the sistrum is a rattle / shaker.
March 24 is the residency’s finale. For Syria is a night of film and live experimental music performances commissioned specifically for the residency in response to themes of the Syrian Civil War. The night will consist of three separate multi-media performances from Jack Everett and Soojin Chang, George Sorour and Maryam Nazari, and Tse Tse Fly Middle East will use the residency period to work with the performers to develop the finished performance pieces. Again, entry will be free.
Jack Everett & Soojin Chang
Jack Everett is a London-based musician with Syrian-Lebanese maternal roots from a first generation immigrant family in Montreal. He has worked with Ivor Novello and Grammy nominee Dan Carey and John Cale both live and in session. He writes, performs, and records with London-based post-punk band Warmduscher. His work has been featured on The Quietus, Noisey, and BBC Radio 6 Music with Iggy Pop, Lauren Laverne, and Marc Riley.
Soojin Chang’s practice is led by an inquiry into agency and inherited memory, explored through visual and sonic worlds that occupy a mythical sense of time. Her works are driven by examinations of personal and national trauma, familial and inherited pain, and critical reflections of agency and fertility of both humans and nonhumans. Selected exhibitions include MoMA PS1, New York; Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow; ICA, London; Microscope Gallery, New York; La Capela, Paris; Second Home, London, and The Art/Life Institute, Rosedale. www.soojinchang.com
George Sorour - George Sorour is an Egyptian experimental musician currently based in London. Working mostly with Eurorack modular synthesis, George builds modules that his fit around his own approach to soundscapes and slowly-evolving music and noise. George has worked with Syrian poet and director Yamen Abdel Nour.
Marayam Nazari - born in Tehran, Maryam Nazari is a multimedia artist and sound designer presently completing a PhD in Performance Art at the Brunel University London. Maryam’s practise reflects her interest in cultural perceptions of performance as an artform, with her work gaining praise for its risk-taking and often confrontational nature. Marayam has performed and exhibited her work at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and the Royal Albert Hall in London, and has lectured on the subject of performance art.She is a central member of the Tse Tse Fly Middle East curatorial team.
In addition to the live elements, Tse Tse Fly Middle East will use the walls of the project space as an informal gallery during the residency to display a selection of Tse Tse Fly Middle East artwork and documents, including posters dating back to their first events in the UAE, photographs of their live events and various digital prints that are used as live projections during other interventions.
Wednesday 13th March - 7PM: In (reaction)
Saturday 16th March – 11AM: children’s instrument-making workshop
Sunday 24th March – 7PM: For Syria
About Tse Tse Fly Middle East
Founded in the United Arab Emirates in 2015 by artist and curator Simon Coates, Tse Tse Fly Middle East started life as the region's first ever sound art and experiments-in-noise platform. Now based in London - and informed by witnessing rights and freedom of expression abuses in the Gulf region - Tse Tse Fly Middle East is a registered Community Interest Company, a non-profit arts organisation and curatorial platform that draws attention to human rights, censorship and social issues via live events, workshops and interventions. Tse Tse Fly Middle East has released two collections of noise and experimental music – Easy Listening Vol.1 (2016) and Instruments of the State (2018) – that were added to the British Library’s archive late last year. Since 2016 UK arts station Resonance EXTRA has broadcast the monthly two-hour Tse Tse Fly Middle East radio programme that features experimental music from the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent. June 2019 will see the release of These Are Our Friends Too, a spoken word and experimental music album produced in partnership with anti-FGM charity FORWARD UK. The platform is also working on live multi-media production The Great Usurper that will tour venues and festivals later this year.