Born and raised in Lebanon, the Boston-based photographer Rania Matar makes work that focuses on the daily lives of girls and young women around the world. Matar always engages with her subjects and gets to know them before taking their portraits, which capture these young people as individuals while addressing the universality of adolescence. Matar’s latest photo book, L’Enfant-Femme (2016), features photographs of preteen girls living in US and the Middle East, bridging the culture gap and showing the girls as they really are, without judgment.
A few of the girls in L’Enfant-Femme also appear inMatar’s ongoing Invisible Children series, portraits of Syrian refugee children on the streets of Beirut and third-generation Palestinian girls living in the Bourj el-Barajneh refugee camps. Matar shoots the portraits on the street — often on the very blocks where she finds these children — and even though she doesn’t pose her subjects outright, the results mimic classical studio portraiture, lending a kind of aesthetic weight and permanence to both the refugee kids and the project at large. She began the series in 2014 and continues to seek out, have conversations with, and photograph these children whenever she goes back to Lebanon.
Read the interview