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

She has exhibited internationally, and 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, Kassel Dummy Award, the Stedelijk Museum’s Art Acquisitions, and the Magnum Foundation Fund.

Sara is represented by Tintera Gallery, and currently teaches photography and social practices at Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam.

I’m on Instagram and Linkedin
I’m reachable via this email

2019 M.A. in Film and Photographic Studies (Cum Laude), at Leiden University, NL

2016 M.A. in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (Distinction), at the London College of Communication, UK

2013 B.A. in Media Design (High Honours), at the German University in Cairo, EG

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

Awards | Nominations | Residencies

2023 Upcoming Artist Residency, Villa Empain in Brussels

2022 Artist Residency, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich

2021 Acquisition, Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)

2019 Shortlist, Stedelijk Museum’s Municipal Art Acquisitions 2020

2019 Shortlist, Magnum Foundation Fund

2018 Nominated, Joop Swart Masterclass

2017 Finalist, Lange-Taylor Prize

2017 Special Mention, The Friends of the Arab World Institute Award

2017 Nominated, Joop Swart Masterclass

2016 Nominated, Plat(t)form Portfolio Review, Fotomuseum Winterthur

2016 Shortlist, Kassel Dummy Award

2016 Shortlist, PhotoIndependent Art Fair

Grants | Scholarships

2020 Grant from the Prince Claus Fund

2017 Mophradat Grant for Artists

2016 Arab Documentary Photography Program, by Magnum Foundation, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, and Prince Claus Fund

2015 Vice Chancellor’s International Scholarship, University of the Arts London

2012 Excellence Award, The German University in Cairo, covering a summer Photography workshop at Berliner Technische Kunsthochschule

2010 Excellence Award, The German University in Cairo, covering a summer 2D Animation course at Animation-School-Hamburg

2008 Excellence Award, The German University in Cairo, covering a summer German language A2 course at Ludwig Maximilian Universitaet


2023 Upcoming Exhibition Expedition Egypt, at the Royal Museums of Art & History in Brussels

2022 Film Screening at Library Lates: Excavating The Egyptians, at the University of Oxford

2022 Solo Exhibition Through Tutankhamun’s Eyes: Alternative Perspectives on Egyptology, at Museo Egizio in Turin

2022 Group Exhibition An Expression of Absence, at Magnum Foundation

2022 Group Book Exhibition Bound Narratives: a Photobook Library, at Magnum Foundation

2022 Group Exhibition Visions of Ancient Egypt, at Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

2022 Film Screening at the conference Performing Tutankhamun: One Hundred Years of Retellings, at the University of Birmingham

2021 Group Exhibition Vantage Point 9, at Sharjah Art Foundation

2021 Group Exhibition A Whole Population of Poets, at Sumac Space

2021 Group Exhibition Familiar Faces: Spring Exhibition, at Tintera Gallery, Cairo

2021 Intersect 21, Online Photography Fair with Tintera Gallery

2021 Participation as a Guest Artist at the Open Edition Gallery, invited by Mohamed Somji

2020 Group Exhibition Eternal Light II, curated by Art D’Egypte, at The Factory, Cairo

2020 Photo London, Online Photography Fair with Tintera Gallery

2020 Online Print Sale For The Love of Beirut

2020 Online Print Sale The Female Gaze

2020 Online Print Sale Diversify Photo Covid-19 Relief Print Sale

2019 Group Exhibition The Autumn Exhibition, curated by Tintera Photographic Art Consultancy, at Tintera Gallery, Cairo

2019 Group Exhibition She Tells, curated by Soma Art Gallery, at B’sarya Gallery, Alexandria

2018 Group Exhibition She Tells, curated by Soma Art Gallery, during Cairo Photo Week, Cairo

2018 Group Exhibition Artchaeology: Intersection between Art and Archaeology, curated by International Association of Photography and Theory, at The Nicosia Municipal Art Centre, Nicosia

2018 Solo Exhibition The Fourth Pyramid Belongs to Her, at Darb 1718 Gallery, Cairo

2017 Group Exhibition Humaness, curated by Bertan Selim, at Sexyland, Amsterdam

2017 Photobook presented at Format Festival, Derby

2016 Photobook presented at Offprint London, at Tate Modern, London

2016 Photobook presented at PhotoIndependent Art Fair, Los Angeles

2016 PostGraduate Show In The Forest of Things, University of the Arts London, London

2014 Group Exhibition Layer of Green, at Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo

2013 Group Exhibition Spuren 2.0 Symposium, at E-Werk, Freiburg

2013 Group Film Screening Cross Culture Video, at Goethe Institute Cairo and Artellewa Gallery, Cairo

Work Experience

2021 (Ongoing) Lecturer at Willem de Kooning Academy, NL

2020 (Ongoing) Self-Publishing as an Eenmanszaak, NL

2016 Web and Graphic Designer at Alchemy Studio, EG

2011 - 2014 Freelance Designer in Motion Graphics, Graphic, and Web Design, EG

2014 (Nov - Dec) Film Editor at Avonbiehl Studio for Video and Photography, DE

2014 (Apr - Oct) Media Designer at Alchemy Studio, EG

2014 (Feb) Film Editing Intern at Avonbiehl Studio, DE

2011 - 2012 Interface Designer at Nervora Digital Media Group, remotely UAE

2011 (Feb) Design Intern at Nervora Digital Media Group, UAE

2009 - 2013 Junior Teaching Assistant at the German University in Cairo, EG


Arabic, Mother tongue

Dutch, NT2 Programma II Certificate (Jul 2021), C1 level at Kickstart School (2020)

German, B1.3 level at Ägyptisch Deutsches Kulturzentrum in Kairo (2016)

English, IELTS test score 8 at the British Council Egypt in Cairo (2014)

Spanish, A2.2 level at Instituto Cervantes in Cairo (2013)

French, B1 level at L’Institut Français d’Egypte in Cairo (2010)

Latest Talks (to be updated)

1 Dec 2022 Artist Talk, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

28 Nov 2022 The Display of Human Remains, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

11 Nov 2022 Tutankhamun on Tahrir Square, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

7 Nov 2022 Through Tutankhamun’s Eyes, Museo Egizio

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