Sara Sallam (b. 1991) is an Egyptian artist, designer, writer, visual researcher, book maker, and educator based in the Netherlands. Her research-based practice includes photography, film, writing, voice narration, archival interventions, and self-publishing handmade books. Through her work, she reflects on growing up in Egypt, criticising the colonial attitudes embedded in archaeology, museum practices, and photographic archives that prevent Egyptians from relating to their past and ancestors. She focuses on the retelling of history by imagining counter-narratives and exploring fiction and temporal juxtapositions as ways to reclaim and decolonise her ancient Egyptian heritage.

Sallam has shown her work in numerous exhibitions internationally, most recently at the Museo Egizio in Turin, the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, and the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich. Her work features in private collections in Australia (Museum of Old and New Art), Belgium, and Switzerland. She was awarded grants from Magnum Foundation, Arab Fund for Arts & Culture, the Prince Claus Fund, and Mophradat. Her work was shortlisted for the Lange-Taylor Prize, the Friends of the Arab World Institute Award, the Kassel Dummy Award, the Stedelijk Museum’s Art Acquisitions, and the Magnum Foundation Fund.

Sallam is represented by Tintera Gallery, and currently teaches at Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam.

2019 M.A. Film and Photographic Studies (Cum Laude), Leiden University
2016 M.A. Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (Distinction), London College of Communication
2013 B.A. Media Design (High Honours), German University in Cairo

Self-Published Monographs
2021 A Tourist Handbook: Egypt Outside of Egypt (Second Edition)
2021 Let My Eyes Have a Glimpse of You
2020 A Tourist Handbook: Egypt Outside of Egypt (First Edition)
2020 If I Can Be Heard In The Place Where You Are
2020 At Last, I Hold Your Gaze

2023 Villa Empain at the Boghossian Foundation for the Royal Museums of Art & History in Brussels
2022 The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich

2023 Presence, Tahrir Cultural Centre at the American University in Cairo supported by Prince Claus Fund
2023 Home, Home, Home, Temporary Home, Sumac Space, Berlin
2023 Time & Again Kemet, Rijksmuseum Van Oudheden, Leiden
2023 Expedition Egypt, Royal Museums of Art & History, Brussels
2023 Art Cairo, with Tintera Gallery, Grand Egyptian Museum, Cairo
2023 Visions of Ancient Egypt, Laing Art Gallery, New Castle 
2022 Through Tutankhamun’s Eyes: Alternative Perspectives on Egyptology,Museo Egizio, Turin
2022 An Expression of Absence, Magnum Foundation, New York
2022 Bound Narratives: a Photobook Library, Museo Novecento, Florence
2022 Visions of Ancient Egypt, The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich
2021 Vantage Point 9, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah
2021 A Whole Population of Poets, Sumac Space (online)
2021 Open Edition Gallery
2021 Familiar Faces: Spring Exhibition, Tintera Gallery, Cairo
2021 Intersect 21, with Tintera Gallery (online)
2020 Eternal Light II, Art D’Egypte at the Factory, Cairo
2020 Photo London, with Tintera Gallery (online)
2020 For The Love of Beirut (online print sale)
2020 The Female Gaze (online print sale)
2020 Diversify Photo Covid-19 Relief Print Sale (online print sale)

2019The Autumn Exhibition, Tintera Gallery, Cairo
2019 She Tells, B’sarya Gallery, Alexandria
2018 She Tells, Cairo Photo Week, Cairo
2018 Artchaeology: Intersection between Art and Archaeology,Nicosia Municipal Art Centre, Nicosia
2018 The Fourth Pyramid Belongs to Her, Darb 1718 Gallery, Cairo
2017 Humaness, Sexyland, Amsterdam
2017 Photobook presentation, Format Festival, Derby
2016 In The Forest of Things, University of the Arts London, London
2016 Photobook presentation, Offprint London, Tate Modern, London
2016 Photobook presentation, PhotoIndependent Art Fair, Los Angeles

2014 Layer of Green, Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo
2013 Spuren 2.0 Symposium, E-Werk, Freiburg
2013 Film Screenings, Goethe Institute Cairo and Artellewa Gallery, Cairo

Nominations, Awards, and Acquisitions

2023 Museo Egizio in Torino, Acquisition
2023 Star Photobook Dummy Award, Nominated 
2020 Museum of Old and New Art in Australia, Acquisition
2020 Prince Claus Fund, Grant
2019 Stedelijk Museum’s Municipal Art Acquisitions 2020, Shortlist
2019 Magnum Foundation Fund, Shortlist
2018 Joop Swart Masterclass, Nominated
2017 Mophradat, Grant for Artists
2017 Lange-Taylor Prize, Finalist
2017 The Friends of the Arab World Institute Award, Special Mention
2017 Joop Swart Masterclass, Nominated
2016 Magnum Foundation, Arab Documentary Photography Program, Grant
2016 Plat(t)form Portfolio Review of Fotomuseum Winterthur, Nominated
2016 Kassel Dummy Award, Shortlist
2016 PhotoIndependent Art Fair, Shortlist
2015 University of the Arts London, Vice Chancellor’s International Scholarship (covering master’s degree at London College of Communication, London)

2012 German University in Cairo, Excellence Award (covering a summer photography course at Berliner Technische Kunsthochschule, Berlin)
2010 German University in Cairo, Excellence Award (covering a summer animation course at Animation School, Hamburg)
2008 German University in Cairo, Excellence Award (covering a summer German language course at Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich)

23 Sep 2023, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice

In the past:
3 Sep 2023, Guided tour at the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels
3 Sep 2023, Pannel Discussion Forever is Now: Ancient Egypt in Contemporary Art with Elisabeth van Caelenberge and Alice Stevenson at the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels
21 June 2023, Contemporary Art Interventions in Egyptian Collections, the Egypt Exploration Society
12 June 2023, Artist Talk and Visit at the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm
4 June 2023, Guided tour at the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels
26 May 2023, Listening to Tutankhamun, The Palladion
21 March 2023, Arab Documentary Photography Program
6 February 2023, Museums and Migrants, Museo Egizio, Turin
2 February 2023, Ancient Egypt and Modern Identities, British Museum, London
15 January 2023, Network Week, The Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague 
8 December 2022, Annual Art Celebration, The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich
8 December 2022, La Chambre Claire, Crossroads, Algiers
1 December 2022, The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich
28 November 2022, The Display of Human Remains, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden
18 November 2022, Film Screening at Library Lates: Excavating The Egyptians, University of Oxford, Oxford
11 November 2022, Tutankhamun on Tahrir Square, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden
7 November 2022, Through Tutankhamun’s Eyes, Museo Egizio, Turin
1 July 2022, Film Screening at Performing Tutankhamun: One Hundred Years of Retellings, University of Birmingham, Birmingham
2 March 2022, Arab Documentary Photography Program

Work Experience
Aug 2023 - Ongoing Lecturer/Kerndocent, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam
Aug 2021 - Jul 2022 Tutor/Docent, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam
2020 - Ongoing Self-Publishing as an Eenmanszaak, Delft
2016 Web and Graphic Designer, Alchemy Studio, Cairo
2011 - 2014 Freelance Designer, Cairo
Nov - Dec 2014 Film Editor, Avonbiehl Studio, Berlin
Apr - Oct 2014 Media Designer, Alchemy Studio, Cairo
Feb 2014 Film Editing Intern, Avonbiehl Studio, Berlin
2011 - 2012 Interface Designer, Nervora, Dubai (online)
Feb 2011 Design Intern, Nervora, Dubai
2009 - 2013 Junior Teaching Assistant, German University in Cairo, Cairo

Arabic, Mother tongue
July 2021 Dutch, NT2 Programma II Certificate
2020 Dutch C1 level, Kickstart School 
2016 German B1.3 level, Ägyptisch Deutsches Kulturzentrum, Cairo
2014 English IELTS , British Council Egypt, Cairo 
2013 Spanish A2.2 level, Instituto Cervantes, Cairo
2010 French B1 level, L’Institut Français d’Egypte, Cairo

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