Shayan Hajinajaf


edited by Francesco Ciotola

Shayan Hajinajaf was born in 1993 in Iran, Ahvaz. He studied mechanical engineering and has a master's degree in this field. Shayan is a photographer and journalist. He started photography in 2015 and become a photojournalist for Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), the most famous News Agency in Iran. In a short time, he became fond of documentary photography and started his activity in this field. He received the Phodar Biennial Diploma in 2021 and was honored in 2018 at the UNICEF Photo Contest in Germany. He also won second place at the HUMAN ACT International Festival in 2020 and has won awards at numerous other festivals. His works have published in different media such as Associated Press, Independent, Fox News, Yahoo, Daily Mail, Spiegel, ISNA, Iran Newspaper, Ebtekar Newspaper, Shargh daily Newspaper, ... . Shayan has published about 10 collections of story photos. Shayan loves to make the connection between war, children and peace in his collections. Environmental issues are also one of his concerns due to the numerous problems of his place of residence due to drought and the condition of wetlands.

Research Interests: Documentary photography, Photojournalism, Photo editing, Stage photography

 Photo Projects 

Burying childhood under the Debris of war

In September 1980, the war between Iran and Iraq began. This war was the longest classic battle in the twentieth century and the second longheld war of the century since the Vietnam War, in which more than 500,000 military forces and civilians of the two countries were killed. In this war, about 16,000 civilians in Iran were victimized by rocket attacks and bombardment of residential buildings by Iraqi military fighter planes. The first missile was struck by the Iraqi state in the city of Dezful in Khuzestan province. During the eight years of the war, Dezful was attacked by Iraqi fighter planes 172 times. In the attacks, 711 people were killed, of which about 240 were children. The Iran-Iraq war, eventually, ended in August 1988 after 2887 days. The children who died in this war in Dezful are only a few of children who are victimized every day around the world by war; a war that they neither started nor even understood its meaning.

Invisible wounds

Not all wounds are visible at first glance. As one of the stable and life-threatening elements of human history, war inflicts deep wounds on the bodies of the societies involved in it and imposes many victims on these societies. Humans who are killed or injured in war are not the only victims of war, but in wars, even when bullets and shrapnel fail to kill or physically injure, they cause casualties. People who directly participate in war are exposed to the traumas caused by this phenomenon and become victims of war because war is one of the main factors influencing the occurrence of psychological-behavioral disorders in the people present in it. Mental illness caused by war is an invisible wound from war that appears more and more in some people and leads them to isolation, confusion, frustration, fear, etc., to the point where some of these people are forced to stay away for the rest of their lives. They spend their time away from the community and family in a special place such as a psychiatric hospital. According to research, almost one out of every four soldiers who return from war has severe mental problems. The life of these people behind the closed doors of the hospital is a picture of the invisible wounds of war; Mysterious doors and walls that hide the story of the lives of soldiers who lived a day full of love, anger and hatred, courage and fear, etc. Currently, there is no cure for war-related mental illness, but symptoms can be alleviated with psychotherapy and medication. According to a government organization in Iran, there are more than 200,000 veterans of the Iran-Iraq war in Iran. Currently, about 40,000 of these veterans who participated in the war with Iraq are covered by the services of hospitals and medical and counseling centers.

Two Wings of a Butterfly

Zahra was born on August 21, 2007 in Mahshahr, Iran. She spent the last years of her life fighting cancer. Zahra was diagnosed with bone cancer about 3 years ago, and it was on April 20, 2016 that doctors announced to Zahra's family that her right leg should be amputated so that the cancer would not spread to other parts of the body. According to the Iranian Children's Blood and Cancer Association, 2500 children under the age of 15 are diagnosed with cancer annually in Iran. Due to the sanctions imposed on Iran, these children are not able to access and provide some drugs to treat their cancer. Life became difficult for Zahra after she lost one of her legs, but she always tried to fight cancer. Some times after Zahra's amputation, doctors operated on Zahra's lumbar vertebrae to remove the cancerous masses, causing Zahra's spinal cord to be damaged and paralyzed. The growth of malignant cancerous masses in Zahra's lungs made living conditions even more difficult for her. Zahra passed away on April 7, 2021, after 3 years of fighting cancer and while her family was on her bed. She dreamed of flying with two butterfly wings one day.

Publications Photography:


• International Art for Peace(IAPF) (Group Photo Book), 2019- Tehran, Iran

• Documentary Photo Festival (Group Photo Book), 2020- Tehran, Iran

• Human Act (Group Photo Book), 2020- Mashhad, Iran

website and Newspaper

• Associated Press, Independent, Fox News, Yahoo, Daily Mail, Spiegel, ISNA, Iran Newspaper, Ebtekar Newspaper, Shargh daily Newspaper, ...

Culture, literature and media:


• The Little Prince on the subway (Group Story Book), 2017, Tehran, Iran

• Window without window (Group Poet Book), 2014, Qom, Iran

Website and Newspaper

• Iranian Students' News Agency, Ebtekar Newspaper, Jam E Jam Newspaper, Iran Newspaper, Chel Cheragh Magazine, ...

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