Rania Matar: A Girl and Her Room
Portfolio Introduction
A Girl and Her Room

As a mother of a teenage daughter I have been watching with awe her passage from girlhood into adulthood, with all the complications that it entails. As I am observing her and her girlfriends, I became fascinated with the transformation taking place, with the adult personality shaping up and with an insecurity and a self-consciousness that are now replacing the carefree world they had live in so far. I started photographing them in group situations, and quickly realized that those young women were so aware of each others' presence, and their being together affected very much whom they were portraying to the world. I also realized that under an air of self-assurance, those girls were often fragile, self-conscious and confused. While their bodies were developing fast into women's bodies, they were still young girls who suddenly had to behave like adults.

From there, emerged the idea of photographing each girl alone. I originally let the girls choose the place and was slowly welcome into their own private spaces: their bedrooms, an area that is theirs, that they can control, decorate, trash and be themselves in, in an outside world that is often intimidating. I spent some time with each girl so she was fully comfortable with me around and was able to let down her guards, free of any preconception of what she would like to portray consciously to the world. I was fascinated to discover a person on the cusp on becoming an adult, but desperately holding on to the child she just barely left behind, a person on the edge between two worlds. Posters of rock stars were often displayed above a bed still covered with stuffed animals; mirrors were always an important part of the room, a reflection of the girls’ image to the outside world.

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