Rania Matar, Lebanon
Her cultural background, current environment, her identities as a Lebanese-born American woman and mother informs the work of Rania Matar. All bodies of work focus simultaneously on the individual identity of each girl, but also on the universality of girls and women en- countering the same challenges of growing up – biological and psychological – regardless of background, culture and religion. She has dedicated her work to exploring the two sides of this identity and addressing issues of personal and collective identity through photographs focusing on female adolescence and womanhood in both the United States and the Middle East. Especially important in a political climate of “them vs. us” she seeks to focus on our common humanity.