Sarah Rifky

graphic designer, artist



BA in Art Vision at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Sarah graduated in 2003.
She has also a CELTA certificate for teaching English to foreign learners.


Unidee Projects

One of Sarah's main interests which has evolved during the residency is understanding more about the effects and (un-)necessities of language in establishing intimate communication. In order to understand better the factors that come into play when a person is put in an environment where he can neither speak nor understand the language, she decided to place herself in such situations and eliminate the possibility of using a second language, often English, from the communicative experience. With the help of the Cittadellarte staff, she found three monolingual Italian families living in the Piedmont region, to host her for several days at a time. During her stay she participated in the families' daily activities and tried to immerse herself into their household activities. The only non-domestic activity she activity which she undertook during this period was keeping a journal and writing short stories.
She is also working with composer Mary Bellamy on exploring communicative possibilities through artistic mediums.
Another collaborative project is the ongoing installation Baghdad! Mon Amour she's working on together with t s Beall. The project is about understanding our personal relationship to the loss of history and cultural heritage in the National Museum and Library of Baghdad after the American invasion in Spring 2003.


Arriving at Cittadellarte and the Unidee residency programme at the beginning of July 2004, Sarah had many preconceived ideas about art in society, language and culture, literature and representation and the individual and his society. Coming from a very traditional academic background like hers to this open space, both literally and metaphorically, made it difficult at first to understand what was expected from her here and she experienced some difficulty in formulating the impact of her stay in her creative work. During the second half of the residency she slowly began to process her experiences and allow for her thoughts to enter her creative work. The absence of a library troubled her a lot at first, and led to thoughts about the relationship between literature and history and the question how important history actually is to us.




Sarah has been provided with the opportunity to develop her writing and art practices in a structure unconventional to her educational and social background. After having come to terms with the differences in the methodology and structure of the residency programme, she has managed to make use of these new tools.



You can find out more about Sarah's recent projects and future plans on manydee