Bassam Allam is The Surreal Deal

“I don't think I would choose to be anyone else but myself.”

Bassam Allam is The Surreal Deal

Whether it’s documenting nature or capturing high-fashion, Egyptian photographer Bassam Allam (Instagram) presents the world through an artistic and surrealist perspective.

Bassam Allam

What is your earliest memory of a camera?

I think it has to be when I was around six years old at Giza Zoo in Egypt, holding an Agfa Optima pocket camera. I remember it made me feel like a spy because it had a very special shape. All this was happening while my dad took videos of our trip, there is a tape of it somewhere. 

What about your Egyptian heritage inspires you?

How the ancient Egyptians used light in their temples and tombs, and how rich the colours of the walls were. The geometry in everything they created is amazing. The concept of duality in ancient Egyptian mythology also resonates so much with my own work. 

If you could be any of the surrealist masters who would it be?

I’d love to meet so many of them, especially Lee Miller, Man Ray, and Andre Breton, but I don’t think I would choose to be anyone else but myself. 

Colour seems to be a significant element in your work, what is the meaning behind it? 

Colour is one of the most inspiring things in life for me. I can go as far as saying that sometimes I like a picture simply because it has a beautiful colour combination. Mastering colour can help communicate, or add another level of emotions to a picture.

Bassam Allam

Your work screams surrealism, but, through the looking glass, who is Bassam Allam?

My work is just an extension of who I am, how I see the world, how I think and feel, how things look inside my mind. I am the beautiful colours. I am shadow and light. 

Take us through your creative process. How do your ideas come to life?

My creative process is subconsciously driven. I channel ideas in the moment depending on what the situation, location, subject, et cetera offer me.  

Who is your muse?

The human character.

What is your advice for aspiring creatives looking to start in the field?

Learn and keep learning, especially, and most importantly, about yourself.

What does hope mean to you?

Hope is trusting that the best will always happen.


For more stories on regional creatives, visit our Art & Culture pages.

This interview with Bassam Allam appeared in YUNG ISSUE 2 PRINT.


Image of work:

First Woman on Mars for Vogue Arabia

Photography & Art Direction: Bassam Allam (

Style: Lorand Lajos

Makeup: Tamara Kraner

Model: Alina H @ Munich Models