Humanizing the 'other' through photography
Kiana spent two years capturing youth culture in her native country of Iran before she relocated to war-torn Afghanistan to continue her work and document the progressive youth movement; but also the dark uncertainty that has resulted from a generation born under war. A few years later, to portray a more complete picture, she embedded herself with Syrian youth who had arrived in Germany as refugees to tell another side of this story, what she calls Resilience Trilogy: Youth, Identity and War.
Her photos are a stirring reminder that a youthful zest for life can be found in the most unexpected of places. Middle Eastern youth are complex people. Born between 1980 and 2001, they are a generation who has experienced was in one way or another. The common thread connecting these youth with the rest of millennials across the world is the resiliency of this generation.
Kiana hopes that her photographs shorten the gaps constructed by politicians and decision makers. She will be sharing this 7-year-long body of work while discussing topics such as researching complex and layered stories, gaining access, ethics, using photographs to humanize global issues and create impact.
Kiana (b.1988) grew up in Tehran, Iran and migrated to Toronto while she was still a teenager. Faced with the challenges of adapting to a new environment, she took up photography as a way of bridging the gap in language and culture. After an incident in her personal life, while still in university, she packed her life in a backpack and started a nomad life in search of a place that could be called home. She has worked internationally but remained focus on stories that awaken her curiosity and illuminates her background. Her self-initiated and self-funded projects often explore complex topics such as migration, adolescence and sexuality. Kiana is a TED fellow, currently based in between Kabul and Tehran, covering the region.