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."
Aug 2019 CULTURE JOURNEYS Short Ave Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA
Mar 2019 SACRED LANDS Rishikesh Int'l Film Festival, Tapovan, India
Nov 2018 ANIMAL ADVOCACY THRU ART Lois Lambert Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
May 2018 FACES OF THE INDIGENOUS Electric Lodge Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
May 2018 DEPAYSÈMENT Nous Tous Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Sep 2017 SCHOOL'S OUT FOREVER Legato Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Aug 2017 EVOKING THE UNSEEN Venice Love Shack, Los Angeles, CA
July 2017 BEATLES VISIT TO INDIA Santa Monica Assembly Hall, Los Angeles, CA
June 2017 ADVAITA Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles, CA
Apr 2017 ADVAITA Uttra Art Gallery, Rishikesh, India
Mar 2017 SACRED INDIA: ADVAITA 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