Tasneem is a freelance Investigative Writer/Photographer working in the Middle East for international media on hard news as well as long form features. She Covered the first women’s voting and elections in Saudi Arabia, which took place in different cities across the country, for National Geographic. Tasneem’s work has also been published in Saudi for New York Times, Speigel, Time’s Lightbox, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Amnesty International, NewYork Times Lens Blog, National Geographic Proof and Vogue Italia.

Tasneem was born in the US and educated in England, returning to Saudi for her undergraduate studies. Her masters focused on the ethnographic study of Saudi women abroad, receiving an MA from Portland State University. After years of teaching in universities between Saudi and the United States, she ventured into photography. She now uses her story telling experience to document topics focusing on human rights specific to gender and social issues in Saudi and the Arab Gulf region. Selected as one of the 10 grantees of the Magnum Foundation/ Prince Clause/ AFAC grant in 2015, she began working on her project Saudi Tales of Love which was published in Time’s Lightbox, and later exhibited in Paris PhotoPhotoKathmandu, Photo Festival in Mumbai, Gulf Photo Plus Dubai, Fort Worth Contemporary Arts in Texas, Middle East now in Florence, Aperture in New York, La Quatrieme Image in Paris, Tiblisi Photo Festival in Georgia, and among the slideshow at the prestigious Visa Pour L’Image, Perpignan in 2016. In April 2016, Tasneem was selected by British Journal Photography among best 16 emerging photographers to watch, and PDN’s 30 photographers to watch in 2017. She is a finalist in the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards in Contemporary Issues. She soon joined Rawiya, the first all-female photography collective from the Middle East.

 

 

Awards / Press

2017

2016

  • Time’s Lightbox Personal Tales of Love, Divorce and Guardianship in Saudi Arabia.
  • National Geographic In Historic Saudi Elections, These Women Stepped Up as Voters and Candidates
  • National Geographic Proof Enter the Spectacular World of Saudi Weddings
  • Wall Street Journal Oil Change: Affluent Saudi Arabia Goes to Work
  • British Journal Photography – ‘Ones to Watch’ / Selected as on of 16 emerging photographers of note.
  • Magnum Foundation / AFAC / Prince Claus Fund – Recipient of the second year and mentorship program for grantees from across the Arab region for their Emerging Arab Photographer Documentary Fund.
  • NewYork Times Lens Blog – ‘The Hidden Stories of Arab Women’ / Interview with Tasneem.
  • New York Times – “Saudi Tales of Love”, photo essay selected for New York Times Portfolio Review
  • Vogue Italia: ‘Vogue Fashion Experience Jeddah, la giornata delle designer’ / Feature Shoot (in Italian).

2015

  • Photoville Photo Festival – Honorary Mention & Print exhibited by Getty / Instagram, New York, USA
  • National Geographic – ‘In Historic Saudi Elections, These Women Stepped Up As Voters and Candidates’/feature.
  • Burn Magazine – ‘Protectors of the Mosque‘ – issue feature.

2014

  • Burn Diary – Burn Magazine Instagram / Contributor
  • Arab News – “Behind the Camera – the Story of a Wedding Photographer” / Interview with Tasneem

2013

  • Khaleejesque Print Magazine (Issue 8) – Recognized as one of the young influentials in the GCC.

2012

  • Khaleejesque Print Magazine – ‘Tasneem AlSultan – the Spectacular Wedding Photographer’ / Interview

Education / Presentations / Publications:

2017

  • National Geographic Summit; Speaker as an Emerging Photographer
  • Taking Measure, Women in Photography. Panel discussion with Maggie Steber, Tamara Abdul Hadi and Sara Lando. Gulf Photo Plus, UAE
  • More than just the Hijaab, stories from women in Saudi. Gulf Photo Plus, UAE
  • Long-form storytelling from the Middle East to Texas: Representation, Othering, Agency & the rise of “New Documentary” Practices. A masterclass co-teaching with Tanya Habjouqa. Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, US

2016

  •  Presentation: More than just the Hijaab, stories from women in Saudi, Photo Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Taught art therapy photo workshops with Syrian refugee children in collaboration with Voice of the Children, Jordan
  • Taught art therapy photo workshops with Syrian refugee children in collaboration with Malaak, Lebanon

2010

  • Hijab, Sex and Language: An Ethnographic Study”; Presentation at Egyptesol, Egypt 2009
  • “More Than Just the Hijaab: Saudi Women’s Experiences of Cultural Adjustment to US ESL Classrooms.”; Presentation at the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Colorado, USA

 

Exhibitions:

2017

  • Saudi Tales of Love exhibited at Institut du Monde Arabe
  • Saudi Tales of Love wins 1’st prize in Contemporary Issues ‘Professional’ at the Sony World Photography Awards and exhibited in Somerset House, London, UK
  • Photographing the Female, Focus Photo Festival, Sun Mill Studios Compound Lower Parel, Mumbai, India
  • ‘Saudi Tales of Love’ Gulf Photo Plus, UAE
  • Rawiya Photo Collective: ‘We Do Not Choose Our Dictators’, Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, Texas, USA
  • Middle East now, Florence, Italy
  • Rawiya Photo Collective: ‘We Do Not Choose Our Dictators’, Aperture, New York, USA
  • La Quatrieme Image, Paris, France

2016

  • ‘Saudi Tales of Love’ Photo Kathmandu Festival 2016, Nepal
  • Where Are We Now?, East Wing presentation at Paris Photo 2016
  • Tiblisi Photo Festival, Georgia
  • Slideshow at Visa Pour L’Image

Photographer / Contributor

2015

Other Awards of Note

2013

  • ISPWP Contest for International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers / Multiple awards of excellence

Organizer: 

2010

  • Assisted the students of University College of Bahrain in Model UN; Bahrain

Coordinator:

2009

  • Preparation of the Fulbright Gateway Orientation program – Portland State University, USA

2008

  • Consultant: Anthropological expert in Saudi culture and marketplace – Intel Corporation, Oregon, USA

 

MA Linguistics “TESOL” Thesis: “Believe Me That’s the True Hijab” / Ethnographic study on Saudi Women in US ESL Classes – Portland State University, USA