Nava Derakhshani is a New York / Johannesburg-based mixed-media artist. Born to Iranian parents in Eswatini, her work explores themes of migration, identity, belonging, gender, and the natural environment. She holds a BA in architecture from the University of Cape Town. Her Master's in Sustainable Development took her to rural Ethiopia where she used photography and oral histories to explore spiritual ties to conservation. She is a 2020 graduate of the New Media Narratives program at the International Center for Photography. There she turned her lens onto herself exploring her hybrid identity through photography, video, and collage. Her practice is influenced by her experience in low-cost eco-housing and urban design, as well as her NGO and grassroots work in human rights, social justice, and sustainability.
Her work has been featured in the Johannesburg International Art Fair, the UN FAO Rome headquarters, Cape Town Queer Feminist Film Festival, the Washington Post, Lensscratch, and Aint-Bad Magazine, among others. Her podcast on Iranian migrants to Africa was shortlisted for the international NPR Google Podcast grant. She is a member of Authority Collective and Native photo agency, and her work was featured in this year's Environmental Photography Festival, Zingst, Germany.