STATEMENT by Rachel Papo: "The life of an eighteen-year-old girl in Israel is interrupted when she is plucked out of her environment at an age when sexual, educational, and family values are at their highest exploration point. She is then placed in a rigorous institution, where individuality becomes a secondary matter, making room for nationalism. 'I solemnly swear…to devote all of my strength and to sacrifice my life to protect the land and the liberty of Israel,' repeats the newly recruited soldier during her swearing-in ceremony. She enters the two-year period in which she will change from a girl to a woman, a teenager to an adult, all under a militaristic, masculine environment, and in the confines of an army that is engaged in daily war and conflict.
"I decided to portray female soldiers in Israel during their mandatory military service as a way for me to revisit my own experience...."
Featured Comment by Michael C. Gaudet: "I remember seeing this as a show at the 92nd Street Y in New York. The scale of the images made them more remarkable than you can tell from little web images, because it really brought the girls to life, and made you feel like you were a transparently there, like a worried mother's mind, instead of seeing things as the photographer. It's one of those rare cases where seeing photographs in person made me feel like one of the angels in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire."