Sunday, June 29, 2008

We're howling forever

Last week I stumbled across Amy Stein's Photography blog. I love her Domesticated series in particular this picture:
Maybe it's because I've been listening to TV on the Radio's "Wolf Like Me" quite a bit recently, but says so much to me about the collision of the natural world and the man made world (in other words, I've been feeling a lot like a wolf howling at a false moon lately).

Check out Stein's Women with Guns series as well.

Rachel Papo, a photographer on Stein's blogroll, has amazing pictures of women serving in the Israeli army.

She writes
Almost fifteen years after my mandatory military duty ended, I went back to several Israeli army bases, using the medium of photography as a vehicle to re-enter this world. Serial No. 3817131 represents my effort to come to terms with the experiences of being a soldier from the perspective of an adult. My service had been a period of utter loneliness, mixed with apathy and pensiveness, and at the time I was too young to understand it all. Through the camera’s lens, I tried to reconstruct facets of my military life, hopeful to reconcile matters that had been left unresolved.

Perhaps because they are placed right next to each other, two of Papo's images stood out to me. Here is the first and here is the second. The first, is almost a glamor shot; a starling beautiful woman, stretch out in a chair with a look of peace on her face. The second, in stark contrast, is an image of a women tightly balled up and perhaps crying or about to cry. Her photos are amazing, often depicting shots of female soliders looking directly and intensly into the camera. At first it is jarring seeing sometimes small women holding weapons as large as themselves, but for me the setting (the army, the guns) quickly fell into the background of her series.

As Papo writes

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.

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