CV of Varda Polak-Sahm
Born in Jerusalem.
2004 MA in Jewish and Comparative Folklore, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
1989-1992 School of Photography, Jerusalem
1985 BA in history of theater, folklore and history of art, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Since 1985 Press photographer
2006 “Secrets from the Mikve” at the Tel Aviv Studio Artura. A singular insight to the world of Jewish women at their ritual bath. The exhibition was displayed after the publication of her book “The House of the Secrets” on the Jewish Mikve.
2005 Represented Israel at the “Kirchentag” in Hannover with pictures of “Zaka”, a religious organization, which deals with the dead after terror attacks, car accidents or natural catastrophes.
2004 Curator of the exhibition “The Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia”. Varda Polak-Sahm “discovered” a large photo archive of peasants in Rajasthan, India, who live according to the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. She restored and chose the most astonishing pictures which then were shown in the Indian pavilion at the Expo 2000 in Hannover, at the UNESCO in Paris and at the Brunei Gallery in London and in 2006 at an environment event in Cornwell. The Prince of Wales visited the exhibition at the Brunei Gallery and was greeted by Varda Polak-Sahm.
1996 “By Bread Alone”. This photo exhibition was first shown in Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv and then became the first ever photography exhibition of an Israeli citizen at the Vatican. It was also shown in Amsterdam, Istanbul, Turkey, and extensively in Italy and Germany, among others in the Berliner Dom, where it was opened with a welcome from Federal President Johannes Rau.
The catalogue of this exhibition was presented to the Pope Benedict XVI by the President of Israel, Moshe Katzav
1995 Israeli-Jordanian Exhibition, “Camera with no Boundaries”, Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv. Three Israeli photographers traveled to Jordan, to bring back their impressions from that “foreign” country which had just signed a peace treaty with Israel. Two Jordanians came to Israel. The result was the first ever common Jordanian-Israeli photo exhibition. The opening in Tel Aviv war attended by the Jordanian Ambassador, Marwan Muasher, who later became Jordan’s foreign minister, and by the US-Ambassador Martin Indyk. The exhibition was supported by the Israeli tourism ministry and the foreign Ministry.
1995 Varda Polak-Sahm receives the first ever non-sportive award, granted to an Israeli citizen in an Arab country. At the Royal Academy in Amman, Jordan, she earns the prize of an international photography competition. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Israeli Embassy and from Arab countries like Syria, which have no ties with Israel until today.
1993-94 Documenting the gilding of Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock. Presented to Jordan’s King Hussein in Washington on July 25, 1994, by Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The international press called it the “Peace Album”.
1991 Cancer, Documenting the struggle of her young brother with cancer. The brother won and the photographs were donated to be a part of the campaign of The Israel Cancer Association.
Creates ever lasting artistic candles with imprinted photographs
* The House of the Secrets (in Hebrew), Modan 2005, (in English) Beacon Press 2009
*By Bread Alone, Crossroad of Symbols, Rafael, Jerusalem, 2000
* The Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia, Frederfing& Thaler, Munich , 2000
2007 Zentrum für zeitgenössische israelische Kunst“, München, Germany
2007 silence & crying out… Beth Zionei America, Tel Aviv, Israel
2006 Bread, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
2000 “Beguf Rishon”, Exhibition of Creative Women, Congress Center, Jerusalem
1998 Photographer of the year, Tel Aviv
1998 “The Week before the War”, A Blossom of the Orange, Musrara Gallery, Jerusalem
1997 “The Blue Square”, Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv
1996 Bet Gavriel, Sea of Galilee
1995 Photographer of the year, Tel Aviv
2007 Urbaniana University, Vatican
2007 Kirchentag” , Hannover , Germany
2007’Jerusalem Stdat ohne Mauern ,Hannover, Germany
2005 Stadtmuseum, Miltenberg
2004 St Sebastian, Padova, Italy
2003 Landesmuseum, Braunschweig
2002 Rathaus, Lutherstadt-Wittenberg
2002 Norderstedt, Hamburg
2001 Verein An der Synagoge, Bonn
2000 Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem
2000 Convention Center, Aachen
1998 Urbaniana at the Vatican as well as other Italian cities
1998 Pädagogisch-Kulturelles Centrum Ehemalige Synagoge Freudental e.V.
1998 Ercürmend Kalmik Museum, Istanbul
1998 Bet Rothschild, Haifa
1997 Deutsches Brotmuseum, Ulm
1996 Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv
2004 Brunai Gallery, London, U.K The Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia
2004, Eden Project , Cornwall, U.K, The Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia
2001 UNESCO Paris, France , The Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia
2000 Expo Hannover, Germany, The Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia