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Kiana Hayeri October 24, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Canada.

Richmond Hill, a suburb of Toronto 2010

Kiana Hayeri (b.1988, Iran) moved to Canada in 2005 to pursue post-secondary education. Soon she discovered the role that photography played as a way to bridge the language barrier. With a fine arts background, Kiana developed her personal style and approach to image-making practice by using the camera to tell a story, often with social comment. Presently her work embraces a distinctive theme that illustrates her cultural background. Kiana has interned with the Hot Docs Festival and Magnum Photo Agency in Toronto. She has worked as an assistant with Magnum photographers, Christopher Anderson and Peter Marlow. Her work has been published in Magenta Flash Forward Vol. 12. She will be attending the Eddie Adams Workshop in October 2011.

About the Photograph:

May God Be With You My Daughter is the story of Iranian teenage girls who are leaving Iran, each for a different and personal reason, but all hoping for a better future. A passage from girlhood into adulthood, with all the other complications that it entails, taking place within a new culture and environment. I aim to tell the story of my own journey through capturing the daily lives of these girls and the challenges they face around ‘the turning point’ of their lives; some before they leave Iran and some upon their arrival in the new country. Soheila, an 18-year-old, coming from a traditional Sunni family, is adopting to a new lifestyle; being oppressed and covered up at home, happy and relieved away from home. Hiding it from her parents, in this photograph, she was meeting up with a few friends to go to an Iranian church for one of those missionary sessions. As she was being introduced to friends’ of friends, and I was waiting for the right moment, she did a long pause, holding back from shaking the boyfriend’s hand. When we got on the bus, she whispered in my ear I didn’t know if I should do it in front of the camera or not.”