Formed in the UAE in 2015, Tse Tse Fly Middle East started life as a monthly experimental arts club night. Now based in London, Tse Tse Fly Middle East is a registered non-profit organisation with a remit of drawing attention to human rights and freedom of speech issues via live events and interventions.
Tse Tse Fly Middle East's work is developed by core members Simon Coates, Maryam Nazari, Emir Nader (in London) and Nour Sokhon (based in Lebanon). The platform operates a positive diversity policy, recruiting performers that either have roots in the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent or have a practise that features strong socio-political messages. Tse Tse Fly Middle East have produced commissions and events in Dubai, Sharjah and the UK, working with the Maraya Arts Centre, Alserkal Avenue, Fringe Arts Bath festival, the Other Worlds Festival, the Other Worlds Music Video Festival, the Fully Booked international artist book project, London-based experimental music project Sonic Imperfections and more.
Ordinarily a Tse Tse Fly Middle East event includes curated short experimental video and film work along with live performances from artists and practitioners who use sound and / or experimental music in their practise. The platform also instigates key partnerships with other civil rights NGOs in order to bring attention to the work they do, aligning themselves with the likes of Amnesty, Stop The War, Labour Behind the Label, FORWARD UK and more. Tse Tse Fly Middle East interventions are wilfully DIY in nature, underlining the original collective’s commitment to provide access to audiences that might not usually engage with - what can be seen as - elusive methodologies and artwork. The platform takes its commitment to engage with communities seriously, working with venue partners and creatives that have a similar community-orientated outlook.
Since 2016 UK arts radio station Resonance EXTRA has broadcast a monthly Tse Tse Fly Middle East radio programme featuring experimental music from the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent. 2018 saw the British Library ask to add the organisation’s audio and video work to their Sound and Moving Image archive, and the release of the platform’s second album. Entitled Instruments of the State, the set featured tracks created by collaborators from six different countries, and garnered plays from the likes of Andrew Weatherall.