ABOUT

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 remote cultures.

Reflecting her own perpetual search for a deeper meaning in life, her art (both photographs and films) can best be described as spiritual and philosophical, hoping to create a yearning in the viewers that is tantamount to her own, unapologetically bringing a sense of unease and challenge.

In 2014, she started shooting her on-going series “Remote Cultures” 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 Int'l 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 has offered workshops; conducted lectures; been invited to speak at panels in schools, universities, museums and art festivals; her talks designed to inspire more young people to get behind the lens to tell meaningful stories.

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. 

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Her Philosophy

"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."

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Selected Exhibitions

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

Selected Talks & Lectures

Nov 2019    Lecture: “Individualism, Collectivism & Non Duality”
                     Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena USA
Oct 2019     Lecture: “Remote Cultures, Ancient Wisdom & Advaita” 
                     University of Southern California, Los Angeles USA
Oct 2019     Panel: “Infinite in its Silence: Exploring Everyday Religion through Photos"
                     California State University, Fullerton USA
Aug 2019     Workshop: “Journey Through India”
                     Short Ave Elementary School, Los Angeles USA
Aug 2018     Empowered Filmmaker Masterclass 
                      (with TELUS Storyhive and VoVo Productions) New Hazelton, Canada
Aug 2018     Empowered Filmmaker Masterclass 
                      (with TELUS Storyhive and VoVo Productions) Kamloops, Canada
Mar 2018     Lecture: “Storytelling, Filmmaking & Consciousness” 
                     (with Marc Baraka Strauch) Beatles Ashram Rishikesh, India

LA Yoga
Sej Saraiya poetry Elephant Journal
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Sej Saraiya published in Matador Network
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Steam Journal Sej Saraiya
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