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Kiana Hayeri

Kiana grew up in Tehran and moved 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. In 2014, a short month before NATO forces pulled out, Kiana moved to Kabul and stayed on for 8 years. Her work often explores complex topics such as migration, adolescence, identity and sexuality in conflict-ridden societies.

Karin Rehn-Kaufmann is Art Director & Chief Representative Leica Galleries International and holds management responsibility for the 24 Leica Galleries around the world.


Promises Written on the Ice, Left in the Sun


These pictures of everyday life were taken over the last four years; yet, with their direct documentary approach, they provide important insight into the serious changes that have been taking place in Afghanistan, since the withdrawal of Western troops in the summer of 2021. Within a few days, the Taliban destroyed everything that had been achieved for freedom of expression, women’s rights and education, and replaced it with fear and insecurity.


Presentation of her book "When Cages Fly" (2024)

"When Cages Fly" is an unconventional photobook born out of an unconventional story captured inside Herat Women's Prison, Afghanistan. The underlying story, "Where Prison Is a Kind Of Freedom,” originally featured in The New York Times Magazine, sheds light on the lives of women incarcerated for liberating themselves from abusive and violent marriages through drastic measures.

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