At Last, I Hold Your Gaze 

2018 – 2019

in brief

The ancient Egyptian mummies have been extensively portrayed throughout history, since the early inceptions of photography and cinema, and remain popular in visual culture. Certain ways of portraying them have been repeatedly followed like traditions, which resulted in establishing stereotypes. In my MA thesis, I investigate how some of these recurring portrayals dehumanise the ancient Egyptians. For this purpose, I have compiled an archive of photographs and films, and analysed their stereotypical portrayal patterns. In doing so, I have identified two traditions; the portrayal of mummies in non-fictional photographs as artefacts (artefication), and their portrayal in fictional films as monsters (monstrification).

In this photographic essay,  At Last, I hold Your Gaze, I attempt to imagine their voices commenting on their own photographic artefication. In doing so, I protest the way in which they have historically and incessantly been muted, and systematically portrayed as dehumanised artefacts.

// This project was conducted during my masters studies at Leiden University. My mentor was Ali Shobeiri. 

© 2019 sara sallam