Sej Saraiya is a documentary and cultural-conservation photographer who has spent the last several years documenting indigenous cultures around the world. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Film Writing from the University of Southern California in 2009, and has since traveled to the deep interiors of Asia and the Americas, capturing portraits that tell stories of cultures on the brink of extinction.
In 2014, she started shooting her on-going series “Faces of the Indigenous” living with the tribes to understand and document their rapidly fading wisdom. For these photographs, she was recognized as an Ambassador for the 7thAnnual Garifuna Indigenous International Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA. Her series “Advaita” which focuses on the mutual interwovenness between all living beings, urgently reminds us of our duties as human beings living on a planet inhabited by other living beings.
She is a member of the American Photographic Artists (APA). Her photographs have been exhibited both in America and India and hang in the homes of private collectors in Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, India, South Africa, Canada and the United States.
"The reason I photograph is to experience human existence beyond the precinct of words. As human beings, we often overuse our ability to communicate—expressing more, experiencing less. Most world philosophies have adopted sabda or ‘word’ as the single valid means of knowledge. But the human spirit illuminates magnificently with direct perception and inference. And the story lies in the unspoken word."
Oct 2019 University of Southern California Los Angeles USA
Oct 2019 California State University Fullerton USA
Aug 2019 Short Ave Elementary School Los Angeles USA
Mar 2019 Rishikesh Int'l Film Festival Tapovan India
Nov 2018 Lois Lambert Gallery Los Angeles USA
May 2018 Electric Lodge Art Gallery Los Angeles USA
May 2018 Nous Tous Art Gallery Los Angeles USA
Sep 2017 Legato Art Gallery Los Angeles USA
Aug 2017 Venice Love Shack Los Angeles USA
July 2017 Santa Monica Assembly Hall Los Angeles USA
June 2017 Topanga Canyon Los Angeles USA
Apr 2017 Uttra Art Gallery Rishikesh India
Mar 2017 Maharishi "Beatles" Ashram Rishikesh India
Lectures & Presentations
August 2019 CULTURE JOURNEYS Los Angeles, CA
August 2018 EMPOWERED FILMMAKER MASTERCLASS (with VoVo Productions) New Hazelton, BC
August 2018 EMPOWERED FILMMAKER MASTERCLASS (with VoVo Productions) Kamloops, BC
March 2018 LECTURE ON STORYTELLING, FILMMAKING & CONSCIOUSNESS (with Marc Baraka Strauch) Beatles Ashram Rishikesh, India