Press Release: Leading UK-based African diaspora women’s campaign and support organisation FORWARD is set to release a unique album to highlight the work it does to eradicate FGM (female genital mutilation). The album is the brainchild of FORWARD’s Naomi Reid and founder of Tse Tse Fly Middle East Simon Coates and continues FORWARD’s These Are Our Friends project, a collection of poetry from young people from London, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham that responds to the themes of FGM and its attendant consequences. The first stage of the project resulted in a book of the same name that features more than thirty pieces of work, a short film made with Media Trust, and the new collaboration will see twenty of the poems re-imagined.

Known for their live experimental music events that are used to draw attention to human rights issues, Tse Tse Fly Middle East have recruited twenty female artists and musicians, and each one will be given a spoken word recording of one of the poems. They will then compose and record a sonic background for their designated piece, with the resulting spoken word and experimental music compositions making up the new, twenty-track set. As Tse Tse Fly Middle East champions the work of artists in the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent the album will feature contributions from some of the foremost female proponents of noise from those regions, as well as drawing from more locally-based collaborators. Entitled These Are Our Friends Too the album will be released as a digital download in June 2019. Everyone involved has given their time for free, with all proceeds from sales of the album going directly to FORWARD.

Read the full Press Release here.