about the book
Award-winning photographer Rania Matar's A Girl and Her Room reveals the lives of girls from two disparate worlds – The U.S. and Lebanon. Set in the girls' bedrooms—which range from spartan cleanliness to chaotic disarray – these portraits offer an insider's perspective of not just who these young women are, but the physical spaces that prove to be extensions of their identities.
RANIA MATAR was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the U.S. in 1984. Originally trained as an architect at the American University of Beirut and Cornell University, she also studied photography at the New England School of Photography and the Maine Photographic Workshops in Mexico with Magnum photographer Constantine Manos. She teaches photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and in refugee camps in Lebanon.
Matar has won awards at the New England Photographers Biennial, the Women in Photography International, the Prix de la Photographie Paris, and the 2011 Legacy Award at the Griffin Museum of Photography. She has accumulated honorable mentions at the 2010 UNICEF Picture of the Year Award, the 2010 Lens Culture Exposure International, the Silver Eye Center for Photography Fellowship, and the Photo Review. She was selected at one of the Top 100 Distinguished Women Photographers by Women in Photography, and was a finalist for the distinguished Foster Award at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Her images are in the permanent collections of museums worldwide. A Girl and Her Room is Matar's second book, and was chosen as a Top 50 Winner in Photolucida's Critical Mass, won the 2011 Legacy Award at the Griffin Museum of Photography, and received a 2011 Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowship. Her first book, Ordinary Lives, was published in 2009.
SUSAN MINOT's first novel, Monkeys, was published in a dozen countries and received the Prix Femina Étranger in France. She is the author of Rapture, Lust & Other Stories, Folly, Evening, and Poems 4 A.M., and wrote the screenplay for Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty.
ANNE TUCKER is the Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, a department she founded in 1976, and has authored a number of books.
Published by UMBRAGE EDITIONS
May 2012 • ISBN 978-1-884167-76-8
about Rania Matar
Rania Matar was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the U.S. in 1984. Originally trained as an architect at the American University of Beirut and at Cornell University, she studied photography at the New England School of Photography and the Maine Photographic Workshops. She teaches photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She also teaches photography in the summers to teenage girls in Lebanon's refugee camps with the assistance of non-governmental organizations and regularly offers talks, class visits and lectures at museums, galleries, schools and colleges in the US and abroad.
Matar's work focuses mainly on girls and women. Earlier projects recorded the lives of women and children in the Middle East, and over the past three years she has completed A Girl and Her Room and started a new project L'Enfant-Femme. Her work has won several awards, has been featured in numerous publications, and exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally. Her images are in the permanent collections of several museums worldwide.
Her first book titled Ordinary Lives was released October 2009, published by the Quantuck Lane Press and distributed by W.W. Norton. Rania's latest monograph, A Girl and Her Room, published by Umbrage Editions was released in May 2012.
I am most grateful for the all young women who graciously participated in this project and for the generous supporters without whom this project could not have been realized:
Aida and Noel Abouhamad