“#MyStory is about making the most of the opportunities I’ve been given and sharing the stories and experiences of young people all over the world.” —Kiana Hayeri (@kianahayeri), the 27-year-old IWMF fellow and recipient of the Chris Hondros Fund Award in the Emerging Photographer category, says. She has been based in Kabul since November 2014.
“When I moved to Canada from Iran in grade 11, I didn’t speak any English, and photography became my link to my environment. One summer back in Iran, I started photographing my friends, and it started growing into a bigger project about youth in Iran and then, Afghanistan. I know all we hear in the news is the war, the conflict, the human rights abuse, but at the same time in Afghanistan, there’s a group of young people who go to cafes and hang out. Life goes on no matter what. From time to time, I meet some amazing young women, often even younger than I am, who are very ambitious, know exactly what they want and don’t see themselves as victims. They think if anything has to change, they are responsible to change that. Not anyone else.”