Serial No. 3817131

Born in Ohio but raised in Israel, Rachel Papo found herself serving as a photographer in the Israeli Air Force at age 18. Her serial number then--3817131--is the number in the title of her new photo series, shot in 2004, that captures young women during their mandatory military service in Israel. She writes:
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...


Fern said...

I just recently went to see this exhibit at the Paul Kopeikin Gallery in LA, CA and it was flooring.

These photographs, for some reason, take the life right out of you when you see them in person. It gets stuck in the track lighting or something.

Fantastic, Enlightening work.

shiran said...

i'm a soldier in the israeli air force also.
my name is shiran, and i'm 20 y.o.

these pictures are really amazing. the girl her self is amazing :)

i hope also, like youve written, to become a woman in the end of that trip :)

Anonymous said...

You are so cool girls!

God bless Israel and their brave women (and men of course). We strongly need people like you here in Sweden, our superfighter JAS 39 Gripen is great but we dont ha enough with pilots who succesfully can fly them. Its like South Africa.

Ok, tanks and take care of you!

Greetings from Johan Kammari in Sweden