Parisa Azadi is a Canadian visual journalist and artist with a keen interest in history and conflict, memory and displacement. She is based in Tehran, Iran and Dubai, UAE, covering the region. For over a decade, Parisa has worked extensively in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and Canada. She has reported politically sensitive issues such as missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, the illegal practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Uganda, and religious extremism in South Asia. Since 2015, Parisa has been working in the Middle East, examining the nuanced dynamics of communities living in the aftermath of war. Parisa’s work has been presented in group and solo exhibitions across Europe, the latest solo exhibition was at Melike Bilir Gallery in Hamburg Germany in 2022. Parisa earned the Chris Hondros Fund Award (Eddie Adams Workshop, 2019) and a Women Photograph Emergency Fund grant (2020). Her work has also been recognized by the World Press Photo 6×6 Global Talent Program and shortlisted for the Magnum Counter Histories Initiative. Her photographs have been published by The New York Times, The Guardian, Vogue, Associated Press, Annabelle Magazine, Malala Fund, International Rescue Committee, among others.
A view of the city of Ilam, a border province with Iraq, on November 6, 2018. Ilam suffered heavily from the devastating eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s. The city was a constant target for the Iraqi bombing campaigns that left the city in ruins and destroyed much of its economic infrastructure. Today, Ilam remains economically underdeveloped with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. From work-in-progress Ordinary Grief.
"I am interested in photographs that speak to sensitive social issues with the understanding of ethical responsibility. I am looking forward to seeing in-depth storytelling with deep historical context that challenge the politics of visibility and orientalist motifs in photojournalism."
Portrait of two sisters on the beach of Bandar Abbas, a port city in the south of Iran on December 7, 2018. In my travels, I witnessed Iranians pushing the boundaries of what is traditionally acceptable—girls in bright pastel-colored bathing suits on the beach and unmarried couples embracing each other in parks. I saw subtle moments of yearning and fervent desire for social change. From work-in-progress Ordinary Grief.
Reza poses for a portrait during his wedding celebration on the Island of Hormuz, located in the Persian Gulf. Persian wedding traditions vary from region to region in Iran. On Hormuz Island, the groom wears a green veil over his face during the ceremony until the bride arrives. Green symbolizes luck and renewal. From work-in-progress Ordinary Grief.
Amir holds on tight to his umbrella as gust of wind and rain blows in the city of Ilam, Iran on November 4, 2018. The city of Ilam suffered heavily from the devastating eight year war with Iraq. Today, Ilam remains economically underdeveloped with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. From work-in-progress Ordinary Grief.