Liliana Bakhtiari

For as long as Liliana can remember, traveling has been her passion, her one driving force that has pulled her forward all of her life.  To date, Liliana has traveled to over 15 different countries.  She has participated in archaeological excavations in Kenya, been a part of political rallies in France, and assisted with cultural studies on genocide and Buddhist culture in Cambodia.  She has trekked through Southeast Asia, various parts of Europe, Kenya, and eastern Australia.  Along the way, she made her living doing everything from caring for orphan kangaroos to harvesting fruit in the rainforest.  Her activist work has included aiding refugees build new homes, working with sex trade victims, and volunteering at orphanages. 

Capturing her experiences through photography, film, and writing became an integral part of Liliana’s journeys.  Not only did she document the individuals and events she encountered, but through her lens, she found she was able to share the impact traveling had on her. 

Liliana’s travels taught her that every single person in this world is a survivor.  Every person has survived some life-changing event at some point in his or her life, and each of us has a remarkable story to tell.  Liliana began to perceive each person’s story, and their experiences, as the most intimate gift that can be bestowed to another, and in the exchange, we forge an everlasting connection; a piece of you with a piece of them. Opening yourself up to someone else’s experiences allows you to view life through another’s eyes. The way we take in the world is unique to each of us.  Through this intimate exchange of personal histories, we afford ourselves the ability to view the world in an entirely new way and expand our mindsets to lengths we couldn’t possibly imagine.  That is true story telling.  That is true connection.  And that is the inspiration and purpose of Liliana’s travels and documentation.   

It is Liliana’s goal to travel the world, giving faces to the global issues that are so often dehumanized by mainstream media.  Rather than encouraging fear of unexplored issues, Liliana hopes to make global epidemics relatable through the stories of everyday people.  “Rather than overwhelm people with statistics and stories of heartbreak, I hope to show them people who are surviving day to day lives.  I want to give these stories a face, not just numbers.  If I can show readers that these survivors are people who laugh, cry, and bleed just like they do, perhaps the issues stop being so unknown.   Perhaps people stop willingly choose ignorance.  Perhaps people start getting invested and educating themselves,” says Liliana.

Liliana has worked primarily freelance, but she is always looking for new and more diversified platforms through which to share her stories.