Leadership in Action

Our Students

Iranian Canadian Photographer, Kiana Hayeri
Project: Documentary Photography Project of Iranian Canadians in Toronto
Amount Awarded: $1500.00

This
 project
 is,
 at
 its
 core,
 a
 collaborative
 exploration
 that
 insists
 upon
 the right
 and
 importance
 of
 self‐documentation
 in
 Iranian
 diaspora
 communities.

Proposed Project

The
 Canadian
 government
 is
 internationally
 recognized
 for
 its
 relatively
 open
 approach
 to
 immigration
 and
 multicultural
 cultural
 policies.
 But
 does
 this
 official
 multicultural of
 immigrants
 and
 newcomers
 on
 the
 ground?
 What
 is
 the
 experience
 of
 multiculturalism
 for
 newcomers
 to
 Canada?

According to the most recent Canadian census (2006), an estimated 46% of the Toronto population is comprised of immigrants, and Iranians represent the largest Middle Eastern nationality therein (Statcan 2010).  Recently,
 the
 Toronto
 Iranian
 community
 has
 become
 more
 present
 in
 the
 public
 and
 political
 spheres:
 the
 first
 and
 only
 elected
 Iranian
 parliamentarian
 in
 Canada recently
 drew
 upwards
 of
 120,000
 people
 to
 Toronto’s
 Harbourfront
 Centre,
 and
 local
 schools
 systems
 such
 as
 the
 York
 School
 Board
 have
 hired
 Iranian
 cultural
 advisors
 and
 counselors
 to
 accommodate
 the
 fast‐growing
 population
 of
 young
 Iranians 
in 
the 
system.

Yet
 Iranian‐Canadians
 and
 their
 experiences
 of
 immigration
 and
 multicultural
 Canada
 have,
 as
 yet,
 remained
 on
 the
 peripheries
 of
 North
 American
 debates
 regarding
 multiculturalism
 and
 immigration.
 This
 documentary
 photography
 project
 aims
 to
 insert
 the
 experiences
 of
 Iranian‐Canadians
 into
 the
 larger
 discussions
 of
 Canadian
 multiculturalism
 and
 immigration,
 while
 also
 inserting the Iranian Canadian community into the visual record of Toronto life.

Bio

Born in Iran (1988), Kiana 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.