Maral Deghati has 15+ years of practical working experience in photojournalistic reporting and management. With good field experience Deghati has worked in all aspects of the industry from reportage to sales, editorial and commercial. Producing photography and multimedia narratives in collaboration with photojournalists worldwide on issues concerning developing and conflict stricken contexts across Asia, Africa and Europe.
A photo-editor working on projects leading me across the globe and working with some exceptionally talented minds, humble hearts and inspiring people with incredible stories to share.
A multicultural team player, I’m passionate about art and literature, making photo-editing a dream job! Initially sparked by curiosity to understand the plight of humans, expanding our existence and potential, searching for ways of creatively building a better future where justice and equality are respected. Born during the Iran-Iraq war, and raised in foreign lands by parents in exile made themes of war, exile and displacement prevalent in the focus of my work. Using creative expression as a tool, I began my first workshop in the refugee camps of Kabul after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. The various art therapy workshops designed and facilitated in Afghanistan, UK, France and Kenya for participants with a wide range of traumas, enriched my understanding of cross-cultural communication and all the complex ways that events have an impact on individuals and their future.
Professional work experience in the media began at 16, having just moved to Europe from the Middle East. Archiving and digitalising images of conflict and revolutions was highly educational, not only in visual literacy, but also in history. At 25 years I was hired as a photo-editor at the Agence France-Presse headquarters in Paris. Rapidly developing skills as a photo-editor in a demanding, fast-paced environement, and trained within the strictest journalistic values and ethics. After five exceptional years at AFP working with 140 bureaus in all aspects of the business, I decided to step out and face new challenges as a freelancer. Joining the WARM Foundation on contemporary conflicts, we launched the first festival edition in 2014, where I worked as a programmer, curator, and producer until 2019. Working independently since 2015 I team-up with professional photographers who hire me to write, research or edit their stories, help with distribution of their reportages, or archival support to find new audiences to share their work with. Institutional roles include manager, workshop facilitator, curator, lecturer and producer. My roles multiplied, but my focus remained on the people in the stories I work with.
With publications and media platforms in decline, my focus shifted on searching for new audiences and ways of advocating. Exhibitions, festivals, publications and workshops are some of the new ways of working.
Languages: English (fluent), French (fluent), Farsi (fluent), Arabic (spoken), Spanish (spoken), Italian (working knowledge), Urdu (basic).