Sara Sallam

Sara Sallam is an Egyptian documentary photography and media designer, currently based in the Netherlands. She works with still and moving images, text, sound and archival material. Her growing interest in interdisciplinary artistic research and non-linear narrative strategies is reflected in her independent work.

The Fourth Pyramid Belongs To Her

For years we couldn’t talk about my grandmother. My parents didn’t want me to attend her funeral, and later I couldn’t get myself to visit her grave. Meanwhile, I waited impatiently to enter an ancient tomb and stare in fascination at a mummy.

The Fourth Pyramid Belongs To Her is an ongoing photographic body of work in which I draw analogies between the experience of losing my grandmother and the many conflicting yet coexisting perceptions of death that surrounded me growing up in Egypt—a country shaped by its history as the necropolis of an ancient civilization buried under years of sand. The project acts as a visual/textual commentary on the results of intersecting photography, archaeology, and tourism when representing, studying and admiring death in Egypt. It particularly addresses the apathy towards ancient remains by portraying my grandmother as a pharaoh, and thereby instilling my ancestors’ humanity.

—sara sallam