Shaina Nyman is an Iranian-American photographer, filmmaker, and artist. She received a BFA in Photography + Film Media from The University of the Arts and often cross the two mediums in her practice to create hybrid works. As an image maker, Nyman’s interest is revealing personal truths and direct experiences at the intersection of time, place and the body. Working mostly in analog formats, her photographs capture feelings that can transcend a specific moment and become a more universal experience.
Sheerzan is an ongoing work that examines the relationship I have with my mother. Sheerzan is a Farsi word for a woman who is brave, powerful, and strong. One who does not allow fear to stop them. If translated to English literally, Sheerzan combines the words “lion” and “woman” into one; the women in my family are lions. Dealing with themes of love and diaspora, this project speaks to the unique struggle of finding an identity as the child of an immigrant from Iran. I seek to connect to the land my people are from, understand what it means to be my mother’s daughter, and what it means to be Iranian-American growing up living in modern America. Sheerzan is a stride towards finding the meaning of home, as the direct descendant of someone who lost theirs. While this work is about my personal attempt to piece together what it means to be who I am, I feel as though it speaks to a larger collective experience of finding an identity as a woman in diaspora. Always fleeting, always looking back, but always growing stronger.
To view more of Shaina Nyman’s work please visit her website.