‘This project was inspired by Svetlana Alekseyevich’s book War’s Unwomanly Face (1985). All these women all of different nationalities but were fighting in World War II for their homeland (the Soviet Union). The war was difficult for them. They were very young when the war had started (16-18) and they had to learn plenty of things necessary during the war. They were nurses, truck drivers, worked in communications, they were partisans (mostly those who lived in the countryside).’
I Reminisce and Cry for Life constitutes a series of portraits of female war heroes, who were all photographed inside their homes, probably in their living rooms. I find Rayss’ project fascinating not just because of the story line but also because of the visual side of the cycle. It is really interesting how the figures blend into their surroundings, with their clothes often matching the colours and patterns of the wallpaper or furniture, thus disappearing in an almost symbolic way.