JAN - SUMMER OF 2016

There's something magical about the first time you explore a city on your own. Whether you take the train into your nearest metropolis or you step off the plane for your semester abroad, there's a natural energy humming all around you, making each park bench, every café, reverberate with potential. This video perfectly captures this experience for 21-year-old Jan Melka, a young French-American artist based in Paris, who came to New York City for the first time in the summer of 2016.

Photographer Matteo Montanari documented her adventures in the city, where she came to develop her artistic practice and discover American culture for the very first time. Using an iPhone and a Polaroid camera, Matteo sought to "spontaneously document the thoughts and the excitement, the fears and the dreams of this 'cultural initiation,'" he told Teen Vogue. The short film and accompanying images weave together these "stolen moments" into an exploration of what it means to be "a girl who wants to become a woman," as Jan says to the camera. Vive la femme.

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