Originally from Lebanon and currently living in Boston, photographer Rania Matar found herself uniquely able to document the universal experiences that adolescent girls go through, regardless of geographic region.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Matar discussed her inspiration for the series A Girl and Her Room, in which she primarily photographs Lebanese and American girls in their personal spaces, a place that she feels serves as an "extension of the girl."
"They are so vulnerable at that age. They are trying to fit in ... figure out who they are and how they want to present themselves to the world," said Matar.
Matar noted that whether in a refugee camp or an apartment in Boston, the girls' bedrooms are the one place they can make their own. "It feels like the world puts you out of control, and this is the one space that they can control — it's theirs."
"Some of them were in very cosmopolitan part of Beirut, some were in refugee camps, and some were in Boston or on the East Coast where I live. But I felt that at the core those girls were going through the same transitional experience."
Matar feels that the project is especially relevant now. "All you hear on the news is how different we are. It became so important for me to include the girls in Lebanon. To show the similarities through this shared experience. It became very personal to me on some level. It is personal, but maybe it's universal at the same time."