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From Personal to Universal
Photographs by Rania Matar
January 15th, 2019
7:00 pm
Newton Senior Center
Photo by Rania Matar

From Personal to Universal:

Photographs by Rania Matar

Rania Matar


Co-hosted by the Boston Camera Club

As a Lebanese-born American woman and mother, Matar has dedicated her artistic practice to exploring both sides of her cultural background, cross-cultural experience, and personal narrative, in addressing issues of personal and collective identity, through photographing girls and women both in the United States where she lives and in the Middle East where she is from.


Focusing on both cultures is especially important to her in the current political climate we live in, where the ‘them vs. us’ rhetoric is so prevalent. Throughout her work, and by making intimate portraits of girls and women, she seeks to focus on our essence, our physicality and on the commonalities that make us human – ultimately highlighting how female subjectivity develops in parallel forms across cultural lines.


In addition she will talk about her experiences living through wars and her immediate interaction with Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.


Newton Senior Center
345 Walnut Street

Newton, MA 02460

Enter by the back door. Take steps (or elevator) up to the main floor and turn left. The meeting room is on the left. Parking is on streets around Newton Senior Center.

Rania Matar Bio

Rania Matar was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the U.S. in 1984. As a Lebanese-born American woman and mother, her cross-cultural experience and personal narrative inform her photography.


Matar’s work has been widely published and exhibited in museums worldwide, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Carnegie Museum of Art and more. It is part of the permanent collections of several museums, institutions and private collections. A mid-career retrospective of her work is currently on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art, in a solo exhibition, originally organized by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art: In Her Image: Photographs by Rania Matar


She has received several grants and awards including a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2017 Mellon Foundation artist-in-residency grant at the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College, 2011 Legacy Award at the Griffin Museum of Photography, 2011 and 2007 Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowships. In 2008 she was a finalist for the Foster Award at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, with an accompanying solo exhibition.


Her work is in the permanent collections of several museums, institutions and private collections worldwide.


She has published three books:

  • L’Enfant-Femme, 2016;

  • A Girl and Her Room, 2012;

  • Ordinary Lives, 2009.


She is currently associate professor of photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Learn more on Rania's website.

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