B I O G R A P H Y
Sej Saraiya (b. 1985) 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; spoken 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.
"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."