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Rachel Papo June 2, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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Officer Natali.Tsaelim Training Camp, Israel. 2005

Rachel Papo is an Israeli who was born in 1970 in Columbus, Ohio but was raised in Israel. She began photographing as a teenager and attended a renowned fine-arts high-school in Haifa, Israel. At age eighteen she served in the Israeli Air Force as a photographer. These two intensive years of service inspired her current photographic book project titled after her own number during service – Serial No. 3817131. Rachel earned a BFA in Fine Arts from Ohio State University in Columbus (1991-96), and an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City (2002-05). She began photographing Israeli female soldiers in the summer of 2004 as part of her masters thesis project. She continues to photograph in both Israel and New York, pursuing fine art photography and accepting commissioned projects. Her photographs are included in several public and private collections. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

About the Photograph:

“The photographs in this project serve as a bridge between past and present—a combination of my own recollections and the experiences of the girls who I observed. Each image embodies traces of things that I recognize, illuminating fragments of my history, striking emotional cords that resonate within me. In some way, each is a self-portrait, depicting a young woman caught in transient moments of introspection and uncertainty, trying to make sense of a challenging daily routine. In striving to maintain her gentleness and femininity, the soldier seems to be questioning her own identity, embracing the fact that two years of her youth will be spent in a wistful compromise.”

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Comments»

1. Edward van Herk - June 3, 2008

Hi Rachel,

I have seen your work in the past and remember it well. I think the story is strong because of your personal attachment involving your own past during militaty service.

Best, Edward


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