Sitara Ibrahimbayli’s artistic practice is one that is deeply humanistic and empathetic as well as aesthetically striking in its raw emotion. Educated first as a psychologist in Baku and then in Prague as a photographer, she uses film as well as video, creating visual narratives of the people and places that she captures in her work. Her work is documentary, but also evocative and beautiful in its portrayal of the inner lives of her subjects which she emphasizes through her use of shadow, color and framing; her respect for their stories is evident in the sensitivity of her photography. She has often chosen subjects that are at the margins of society due to their location or circumstances, such as women, rural life, and refugees. While her recent work has focused on Azerbaijan, the themes that she explores are universal, highlighting our shared humanity regardless of age, gender or place.

Sitara has exhibited around the world, including the exhibition ‘Our Land/Alien Territory’ at the 6th Moscow Biennale, and the 2015 exhibition ‘BALAGAN!!!: Contemporary Art from the Former Soviet Union and Other Mythical Places’ with MOMENTUM in Berlin, the 55th Venice Biennale, and again in ‘The Great Game’ exhibition of the Iran Pavilion at the 56th  Venice Biennale; she also regularly shows her work in Baku. In July 2018, she was invited to create site-specific photographs for Photofest.kz in Astana, where she focused on women’s rights through the themes such as spirituality, maternity, and social life. Much like her work in Azerbaijan, she uses her photography and video art to tell the stories of individuals through their struggles and triumphs.

Sitara has long been an advocate for social engagement through art. One of her most emotive projects was the 2014 photo series ‘Lost in Karabagh,’ which examines the effects of the ongoing Karabagh conflict on the people and communities displaced and destroyed by violence. Through the examination of everyday objects, photographs, and scraps of documents, she represents the lives of the people affected by the conflict; through the objects, we see the aspirations and personalities of individuals and families who are so often reduced to a statistic. Her work helps us to see the commonality between all of us and asks us to consider our own responsibility to our community.

Active as a community advocate, Sitara also volunteers time with animal rescue groups in Baku and founded the group ‘Cultural Intent’ which brings art to disadvantaged members of society. Cultural Intent works to engage handicapped and mentally ill people in the arts to help them to build self-esteem through artistic expression. The group connects artists with organizations around Azerbaijan to help support art education and skill development, even promoting the sale of artworks by some of the participants of their programs which can be seen at various locations around Baku.

Sitara’s ongoing project ‘A Woman’s Journey’ has taken her across Azerbaijan to speak to and photograph women of all ages and walks of life, illuminating their inner lives that are often hidden from view. Because of issues such as poverty, gender disparity, early marriage, and conservatism, many women do not have opportunities to actualize their talents and dreams, which Sitara confronts by providing a platform for women to speak for themselves and share their stories on their own terms and in their own words. The project is not yet finished and she plans to photograph one hundred women in total. Sitara also photographs herself in their place, highlighting the shared experiences of women despite economic or social boundaries. This project represents her vast impact and contribution as an artist – she asks us to see ourselves in the people and places she captures, bringing us closer to one another through empathy and understanding.

She has been working actively in cinema in recent years, as a production designer. The latest film ( End of Season) was presented at Rotterdam Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI award for the best debut.


· BA, Still Photography, FAMU University, Prague, CZ o Diploma: June 2010  

· BA, Psychology and Social Studies Faculty, Baku State University o Diploma: June 2004 

· MSc, Psychology and Social Studies Faculty, Baku State University o Diploma: June 2018

2012 Project Management, National Gallery, Hamburg Banhof, Berlin – intern 


2018 Founder of VarYox – Art and Culture Magazine and Cultural Intent Charity Platform


2022 Vantage Point Sharjah 10 , AL Hamriyah

2022  “Black garden 2:0” Documentary Photography in the South Caucasus , Factory Tbilisi  

2019 “Canlı” performans by Sitara Ibrahimbayli  and Vusal Rahim curated by Lesley Gray on Ta(r)dino 6 Art Platform and Var Yox platform @ Kichik gala Gallery; Baku, Azerbaijan

2019 Across the mountains: The South Caucasus Photography, exhibition curated by Anna Shpakova / Tbilisi photo festival, Stamba / Tbilisi Georgia

2019 Video Art From Azerbaijan “Maiden Tower”. To Be a Woman”art  festival  . / Baku, Azerbaijan

2019 Contemporary İstanbul Ta(r)dino 6 Art Platfrom booth at Art Spaces section of Contemporary İstanbul / İstanbul, Turkey

2019 “Women , Children and well – being “ photo exhibition organised by Nargis Magazine and Unicef / Museum of Modern Art , Baku ,Azerbaijan 

2019 “Dağlanın  Başı” Art Residens Xınalıq / VarYox  / Xınalıq Azerbaijan

2019 Qadın olmaq / TAF • Tbilisi Art Fair / Tbilisi, Georgia

2018 On Refugees and Migrants group exhibition curated by Alfons Hug and Asli Samadova / Kappelhaus , Goethe institute / Baku , Azerbaijan 

2018 Tomorrow will be yesterday , exhibition curated by Andrey Misiano / Erti gallery , Tbilisi Georgia 

2016 – “Reflector”, 300 words on resistance,  curated by Bjorn  Gendhof  and Suad Gara @ Yarat, Baku, Azerbaijan 

2015 – “A Boy is OK A Girl is NOT”, BALAGAN!!! Contemporary Art from the Former Soviet Union and Other Mythical Places, Berlin, Germany 

2015 – “Frozen conflict”, Our land / Alien territory, Manege , Moscow , Russia 

2015 – “Frozen conflict”, “The Great Game / Iran Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia

01.08.2014 – “A Boy is Ok A Girl is NOT” Astar, Yarat pavilion, 4TH MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL BIENNALE FOR YOUNG ART

2013 – “The Edge” project Love me, love me not, 55th Venice Biennale, Yarat contemporary art space pavilion 

2013 – “Population Census”, Tbilisi Photo Festival

2012 – “Commonist” Yarat, Baku Azerbaijan

2012 – “Lost In Karabakh”, Tbisili Photo Festival

2012 – “Population Census, personal exshibition ,(Yarat)  Public art  festival, Bulvard, Baku, Azerbaijan 

2011 – “ON SOZ”,Yarat, Baku, Azerbaijan 

2011 – USSR REMIX, Prague, Czech Republic

2010 – ART BAZAAR,  Veten cinema/ Baku, Azerbaijan

2010 – “7”, Photo festival, Tbilisi, Georgia

2010 – “Azerbaijani women” Museum Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan

2009 – “7” exhibition curated by Sanan Aleskerov /Modern Art Museum , Baku, Azerbaijan

2008 – “Independence day of Azerbaijan”, Brno, Czech Republic

2008 – Autoportret, “Objekt a subject meho JA”, Kladno, Czech Republic

2008 – “Prague´s Passages”, Prague, Czech Republic

2007 – 2008 – “Intimate revolt”, Prague,Istanbul, Vilnius

2007 – ‘Photonic Moment”, Photo Festival, Slovenia

2007 – “Contemporary Photography in Azerbaijan”, Modern Art Gallery, Moscow, Russia

2007 – “Sestka”-FAMU, Prague, CZ

2007 – “Frozen conflict”  (personal exhibition), Kladno, Czech Republic 

2006 – “Women” (personal exhibition), Gazelli  Baku,  Kikala gallerry Tbilisi

2005 – “Kapadokia”, organized by TURKSOY, Paris, France

2005 – “Fragments of Reality”, Museum Center, Baku, Azerbaijan

2004 – “Women against Violence”, Tbilisi, Georgia

2004 – “Living together”, chain of annual outcome exhibitions, organized by British Council in London, Tbilisi, Baku and Yerevan. Supervised by Ann Doherty, England

2003 – “Daira”, Museum Center, Baku, Azerbaijan

2003 – “Ethnic Minorities Living in Azerbaijan”, Strasbourg, France

2003 – “Vergul”, organized by the French Embassy, Baku Art Center, Baku, Azerbaijan

2002 – “Small Business”, Open Society Institute, Baku, Azerbaijan

2002 – “Ayna 2002”, first international photo festival in Baku, Azerbaijan


Set designer

  • “Yoxdu Belə söhbət” 2018, director  Rufat Hasanov 
  • “End of Season”          2019, director Elmar Imanov 
  • “Breakfast”                  2020, director Suad Qara
  • “My Magical World” 2022, director Elvin Adigozel

For business inquiries: sitaraibrahimbayli [at] gmail.com