The Neue Kunstraum Düsseldorf (NKR)

Nour Sokhon and Jilliene Sellner, members of Heya, are selected for a commission from NKR.


NKR Call # 2

The NKR published an open call in spring 2020. 146 videos with various concepts and exhibition ideas from international artists have been received. The NKR would like to thank all of the artists for participating in the NKR Call # 2.

The jury chose the “Expanded Turn” project by Nour Sokhon and Jilliene Sellner:

because we are showing a position that is still unknown in Düsseldorf and NRW and that is embedded in the discursive, global art context. The jury is looking forward to seeing how the project develops based on the submitted proposal. “

(Statement by the jury – Alisa Berger, Lena Ditte Nissen, Moritz Ellerich, Detlef Klepsch, Matthias Neuenhofer, Anne Schülke – July 18, 2020)

The “Expanded Turn” project will take place from September 9, 2021 to October 10, 2021 at the NKR. NKR Call # 3 is expected to be released in spring 2021. Interested parties can subscribe to the newsletter and will be informed of the publication.

The NKR Call project is funded by the Art and Culture Foundation of the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf.

Idea and organization: Detlef Klepsch & Anne Schülke

Special opening times | August 4 – August 9, 2020

Tuesday – Friday: 3 – 8 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 2 – 6 p.m.

Heya: Fragments at Network Music Festival 2020



heya nmf

On 15 July after a brilliant discussion panel in the afternoon on accessibility, Heya artists performed Zeynep Ayşe Hatipoğlu’s score ‘Fragments’ for the opening concert. Amazing program.  This time we used Zoom and various configurations for routing our DAWs – a lot of noise last minute…more tech to sort through! We love the preparation though.


In Conversation with Diana Comba of Teatro Bairro Alto, Lisbon. Heya: Feminist networked co-creation between Europe and the Middle East

Zeynep Ayşe Hatipoğlu and Jilliene Sellner in conversation with Teatro Bairro Alto’s  music curator Diana Combo about the Heya project and perspectives of artists working outside of ‘Western’ infrastructures where freedom of movement and speech has not been a given and compare and contrast to the lockdown experience globally.

Heya talks to Teatro Barrio Alto, Lisbon

Heya: Feminist networked co-creation between Europe and the Middle East

A live streamed event.

Tuesday 26 May 11AM

Livestreaming available on

For the symposium the discussion with Jilliene Sellner, Zeynep Ayşe Hatipoğlu and Diana Combo (TBA) will focus on the perspectives of artists working outside of ‘Western’ infrastructures where freedom of movement and speech has not been a given and compare and contrast to the lockdown experience globally.

Art’s Birthday 2020 – Vienna, Berlin, Cairo and Istanbul

We had an amazing experience playing a live networked performance between four cities in Europe and the Middle East using Satellite links and Locus Sonus. The performance was itself quite something but it was the preparation that (for me – Jilliene) was so incredibly insightful. Artists involved were myself (Jilliene Sellner at ORF in Vienna), Nour Sokhon (at Savvy in Berlin), Yara Mekewai (in Cairo) and zeynep ayşe hatipoğlu (in Istanbul). Huge thanks to Marcus Gammel at Deutschlandradio Kultur and Elisabeth Zimmermann at Kunstradio – Radiokunst ORF. Here is an audio excerpt.

Heya moves to Goldsmiths London

Just a short announcement! I (Jilliene) have been formally accepted to the Music PhD research program at Goldsmiths London with Iris Garrelfs and Holly Rogers as my supervisors. This means that in the Autumn 2020 I will transfer the research project from Sussex (currently on ‘interim’) to Goldsmiths. I’m super excited. I think this is great news for the project and for all of its collaborators! Stay tuned!

Heya for Art’s Birthday

Over the past few week we’ve been working toward a live networked performance between Berlin, Istanbul, Vienna and Cairo for Art’s Birthday with Deutschlandfunk Kultur Klangkunst and ORF Kunstradio which are part of the expert group Ars Acustica of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). This group is celebrating together with artists, art institutions, museums, etc each year the Art’s Birthday on January 17th, following a concept of the French Fluxus artist Robert Filliou. He suggested that 1,000,000 years ago “A man took a dry sponge and dropped it into a bucket full of water. Who that man was is not important. He is dead but art is alive.” Filliou’s ideas have inspired many artists until today.

More info about Art’s Birthday can be found here:

Since 2004 the EBU Ars Acustica group has joined the international Art’s birthday celebrations. The contributed contents like most of the participants of the Art’s Birthday Network ( do – as “presents” for ART. Via ISDN-lines and/or the Internet the contributions are collected at two points, in Vienna (ORF) and Berlin (DLF Kultur) where they are sent to the two EBU satellite channels Haydn (H) and Liszt (L). Both satellite channels (H and L) offer “ready-to-broadcast” materials along with signature-tunes and broadcast-identifications. Both channels can also be further mixed or remixed with other live-material.

So now myself (in Vienna) and 3 colleagues, Nour Sokhon in Berlin, Yara Mekawei in Cairo and Zeynep Ayşe Hatipoğlu in Istanbul, are setting up to rehearse via locusonus. More info to come shortly!

Tse Tse Fly Middle East – These are our friends too Album release



Album that some of us have been involved in is being released next week!

Press release – for immediate release


  • arts / activism platform Tse Tse Fly Middle East and UK charity FORWARD team up for an album of spoken word and experimental music album on the issue of FGM
  • all-female line-up of experimental musicians and artists


Leading UK-based African diaspora women’s campaign and support organisation FORWARD – in partnership with arts and activism platform Tse Tse Fly Middle East – is set to release These Are Our Friends Too a unique album that highlights 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 sees nineteen of the poems re-imagined.

Known for their live experimental music productions, interventions and artworks that are used to draw attention to human rights issues, Tse Tse Fly Middle East have hand-picked a selection of female artists and musicians, and each one has been given a spoken word recording of one of the poems read by members of the FORWARD team. The artists then composed and recorded a sonic background for their designated piece, with the resulting spoken word and experimental music compositions making up the new, nineteen-track set, These Are Our Friends Too. The album features contributions from some of the foremost female proponents of noise from Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Serbia, Bulgaria and Sweden, as well as UK-based collaborators. And the visceral, uncompromising and unsettling tracks that result reflect the disturbing nature of female genital mutilation.

These Are Our Friends Too will be released as a digital download on the Bandcamp platform – as well as being available to stream online – on September 20th 2019.

Everyone involved has given their time for free, with all proceeds from sales of the album going directly to FORWARD.



  1. I’m Only Human – composer: Negin Zomorodi (Iran) / writer: Ayan Ali / read by Kabung
  2. A Day In My Life – composer: Maryam Nazari (Iran) / writer: Muna Abdi-Hajj / read by: Kabung
    3.  She Said – composer: Ola Saad (Egypt) / writer: Riyaan Ali / read by: Cherrelle
    4.  The Arrangement – composer: Cathy Lane (UK) / writer: Rasha Farah / read by: Wangu
    5.  Hush Little Baby – composer: Nilufar Habibian (Iran) / writer: Anam Ali / read by: Wangu
    6.  Speak Out – composer: Parisa Shirvani (UK) / writer: Mariam Fall / read by: Nafisa
    7.  What A Woman Must Do – composer: Kumah (Serbia) / writer: Saria Khalifa / read by: Angela
    8.  So What – composer: Polly Petrova (Bulgaria) / writer: Anfal Ali / read by: Kabung
  3. Me, I Don’t Mind – composer: Maryam Nazari (Iran) / writer: Emmanuel Kabanza / read by: Imhotep


  1. Tsunami – composer: Kumah (Serbia) / writer: Nima Nuur / read by: Nafisa
  2. Keynote Speaker – composer: Nour Sokhon (Lebanon) / writer: Rashida Sanni / read by: Cherrelle
  3. Game Face – composer: Iida Aino (Sweden) / writer: Ikram Nur / read by: Cherrelle
  4. I Know Her – composer: Jacqueline George (Egypt) / writer: Kaltun Duale / read by: Cherrelle
  5. We, Us, Community – composer: Stephanie Merchak (Lebanon) / writer: Foosiya Ahmed / read by: Wangu
  6. Choices – composer: Nour Sokhon (Lebanon) / writer: Cherelle Salmon / read by: Cherrelle
  7. When the Sun Goes Down – composer: Rhéa Dally (Lebanon) / writer: Siham Ahmed / read by: Angela
  8. The Party Plan – composer: Jilliene Sellner feat. the Brain Dead Ensemble (UK) / writer: Fanta Kone / read by: Nafisa
  9. She Walks / That Sword – composer: Hüma Utku (Turkey) / writer: Rahman Duale / read by: Nafisa
  10. That Magnificent Colour – composer: Dr Mariam Rezaei / writer: Habon Duale / read by: Nafisa


FORWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development) is the leading African women-led organisation working on female genital mutilation, child marriage and other forms of violence against women and girls in the UK and Africa. For 33 years they have been committed to safeguarding the rights and dignity of African girls and women. They do this through community engagement, women’s empowerment, training of professionals, research, and international advocacy.

About Tse Tse Fly Middle East

Formed in the UAE in 2015 and now based in London, Tse Tse Fly Middle East is a non-profit organisation that produces live events, artwork and interventions to draw attention to human rights and freedom of speech issues.

Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons (WHO). It is also sometimes referred to as female genital cutting or female circumcision. There are no health benefits to FGM and it is recognised internationally as a human rights violation.

More information here:

High res / low res photos (of artwork and artists) and logos available on request


Notes to Editors:
∙ FORWARD has been campaigning against FGM and other forms of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) affecting African women and girls for 27 years.
∙ FORWARD’s key areas of work are: female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and related rights abuses of girls and women.
∙ FORWARD works in the UK, Europe and Africa to help change practices and policies that affect access, dignity and wellbeing. Twitter: @FORWARDUK
∙ For media enquiries please contact: Naomi Reid – 020 8960 4000 or Simon Coates –