Karishma Vyas is an Emmy-nominated Australian journalist and filmmaker who has covered conflict across South and Southeast Asia for almost 20 years. Her reports and documentaries are featured on Al Jazeera English, Time magazine, and the New York Times.
As a young university graduate, Vyas moved to Thailand to work in foreign news. In 2004, during her internship at Thompson Reuters television, a catastrophic tsunami decimated the country’s west coast. Vyas was among the first journalists on the scene, reporting on a disaster that claimed more than 230,000 lives in the region.
After this initiation into journalism, she travelled to Afghanistan in 2007 as AFP news agency’s television correspondent to report on the on-going war following the fall of the Taliban. With tens of thousands of foreign soldiers stationed in the country, there was great public interest in the story. Vyas had the opportunity to travel extensively, embedding with US marines and local communities to film the daily triumphs and struggles of ordinary Afghans.
It was also a time of great upheaval in other South Asian countries. Vyas covered the violent end to Sri Lanka’s civil war and the disarmament of Maoist fighters in Nepal. She continues to return to the region to film in-depth documentaries on the legacy of these conflicts, especially on women and children.
Her film Afghanistan-No Country For Women was nominated for an Emmy and received the Amnesty International Human Rights Award. Other films from Pakistan, India and Afghanistan have also picked up medals at the New York Festivals Awards.
Through powerful, character-driven documentaries, Vyas hopes to re-sensitise an increasingly war-weary public to the enduring importance of conflicts and the impact they have on generations of civilians.