Ako Salemi is an acclaimed photographer and filmmaker based in the United States, with roots tracing back to Bukan, Kurdistan, Iran. With over a decade of experience as a photojournalist and photo editor for prominent Iranian indipendent newspapers, Ako has since shifted his focus to freelance documentary photography and filmmaking for international outlets.
Ako is a co-founder of the esteemed photography collective 'Hikari Creative', and his work has been recognized and honored by several prestigious organizations. Notably, one of his photographs was featured among Time Magazine's 29 defining Instagrams of the world in 2014, and he received honorable mentions from Instagram-Getty Images grants in 2015 and 2016. His powerful images have been published worldwide in reputable publications such as Time Lightbox, Time, The New York Times, The New Yorker, VOX and The Guardian.
In 2016, Ako was awarded the Persephone Miel Fellowship of Pulitzer Center for his proposal on the climate change crisis in Iran, underscoring his commitment to raising awareness and addressing important global issues through his work. Ako's filmmaking has also earned him acclaim, with his first short documentary winning the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Award for Best Kids Film in 2020.
Ako Salemi's unwavering passion and artistic vision continue to make a profound impact in the world of photography and film, capturing powerful moments that shed light on important social, cultural, and environmental issues.