Salma El Tarzi
JUL - SEP 2019

Salma El Trarzi bio © Salma El Trazi

Salma El Tarzi

 Salma El Tarzi (b. 1978) is a Cairo-based filmmaker, visual artist and essayist. Since her graduation from the High Institute of Cinema in 1999, where she studied cartoon animation, she has worked across several fields within the film and television industries, including direction, production, dubbing and writing.

Her independent directorial debut, Do You Know Why? (2004), a short documentary film about young models working in television advertising, won the Rotterdam Arab Film Festival Silver Award that year. She has since continued working in commercial cinema, predominantly as a producer, while simultaneously pursuing a career as an independent documentary filmmaker. In 2013, she directed her first feature-length documentary, Underground/On The Surface, which explores the local subculture of electro-shaabi music (also known as mahraganat) and won the 2013 Dubai International Film Festival award for best directing. That year, she returned to painting and drawing after a 14-year-long hiatus, culminating in the completion of a co-authored nonfiction graphic novel on institutional and societal gender-based violence during the first years of the 2011 uprising in Egypt (to be released in April 2019).

She is currently authoring an autobiographical graphic novel, in parallel to a research project and video installation about the representation of desire and normalization of rape culture in mainstream Egyptian cinema. The first iteration of the latter work-in-progress was shown as part of the Goethe-Institut Cairo's feminist arts festival Tashweesh in November 2018.