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This study explored the living experience of female adolescents in an Islamic boarding school (dayah) in Aceh Province, Indonesia. This article is part of a critical ethnographic study which was conducted using photovoice as its main data collection method, involving 34 female adolescents as key participants. Two focus group discussions and three in-depth interviews were conducted using photo interviewing with seven key participants. The initial themes from photo interviewing were then further explored via additional data collection with all key participants and five associate participants to ensure comprehensive and saturated data. Four themes emerged from the findings as follows: hardship of studying, stringent and austere living arrangements, barriers to health care access, and regulation and punishment as strategies for expected behavior change. The study showed that photovoice is very useful for researching this specific culture of Muslim female adolescents. Photovoice revealed the sensitive issues of this culture while empowering the participants through the research process. The study shed light on how dayah culture can restrict the ability of female adolescents to improve their health. The findings confirmed that photovoice can provide rich data. It also gave the female adolescents a sense of autonomy, making them more vocal in calling for positive change.
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