Kiana grew up in Tehran, Iran and migrated to Toronto as a teenager. Photography provided a way to bridge the challenging gap in language and culture as she adapted to her new environment. Midway through university, she packed her life in a backpack and started a nomadic search for a place that could be called home. Looking back to her childhood roots, many of Kiana’s long term projects focus remains on stories that illuminates her background. These self-funded series often explore complex topics such as migration, adolescence and sexuality. Currently, she is working on a multi-phase project documenting the lives of youth and their culture in societies dealing with oppression or conflict.
In 2011, Kiana was an IAAB fellow, the following year she completed a CIS artist residency at MIT University. In 2014, PDN included her on the 30 Under 30 list. In 2016, she was selected for IWMF fellowship to report on her proposed story in Rwanda and DRC. Kiana is a TED fellow and her work has appeared in Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Washington Post, Sunday Times Magazine, Monocle Magazine, Aljazeera America and CBC, among others. Kiana is a regular contributor to Everyday Project from Middle East and Asia. Follow her on Instagram (@kianahayeri) where she shares bits and pieces of daily life as she roams, explores and tells stories.
This project intimately tells the stories of the women - especially mothers - struggling for their rights and a better future in a violent but changing Afghanistan, portraying them as active agents, not victims.