Featured Artist : Kiana Hayeri

Kiana Hayeri (b.1988) is an Iranian descent Canadian photographer living in Kabul, Afghanistan. She has just been awarded the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2022 (LOBA) which started in 1979, rewarding work that deals with the relationship between human beings and their environment.

Her series Promises Written On The Ice, Left In The Sun is a result of her stay in Afghanistan over the last 8 years and centres around the daily lives of women and girls living under the conditions of war and of Taliban rule, since the hasty retreat of US and Western forces following the overthrow of the government in 2021. Her images from this series are hard hitting but tender in their depicting of suffering and the perseverance of the human spirit facing conflict ad destruction, and offers an insight into the current situation in Afghanistan, where daily survival is a struggle between the imposed restrictions on women in Taliban rule and the longing for a better future.

At the press conference at Wetzlar, Kiana said she doesn’t feel optimistic about the future of the country, despite the end of the war after the takeover by the Taliban. Violence and resistance groups are beginning to show their presence around the country.

Hafiza (70) reveals an open wound on her throat; a wound that doctors believe is caused by grief. Badakhshan, April 8, 2021. Four of Hafiza’s sons opted for different paths: they joined the army, the Taliban, or an anti-Taliban militia
In a local school that was set up by a teacher in the village of Hussain Khel, 25 high school girls cram together, everyday, to make the most out of the few hours of schooling. September 12, 2019
In the basement of an unfinished mosque, women mourn daughters and sisters killed in an attack. May 9, 2021. The powerful explosions, in the morning in front of a high school, killed at least 90 people, and injured a further 150. Many were teenage girls who were just coming out of class

“Afghanistan is still a country with open wounds that is struggling to heal”

During class at a school in the village of Khandood in the Wakhan Corridor, a girl whispers in her classmate’s ear. Wakhan, December 1, 2020. In Afghanistan, a largely traditional and conservative society, girls and boys are strictly separated, when they reach puberty
Nafas (20), who killed her husband, socialises with their cellmates and other incarcerated women. Herat, April 1, 2019. At the age of twelve, she had been made the second wife of an addicted and abusive man
With Kiana Hayeri at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar, October 2022

More about Kiana’s work can be seen at :




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