To make the journey into adulthood means facing uncertain waters.

Cruise, the latest photo project from Latvia’s Ieva Raudsepa, is a tender look at the coming of age process, following young passengers as they take a ferry journey between Riga and Stockholm.

The journey itself may provide the perfect metaphor for the transition into adulthood, but for Latvian teens, it is simply a space to relax and let go.

“Young people love it,” says Raudsepa. “The ferry provides all kinds of amusement — karaoke, an evening show with a flamboyant dance performance, gambling halls, a daily lottery, and a disco hall. ​The entertainment is sort of cliché and sometimes even absurd but, through its banality, the awkwardness of what it means to be human can appear.”

The photographer, who is currently studying in the United States, is now raising money to release Cruise as a photobook.

“Youth is a fleeting phenomenon that is both painful and beautiful, and so is the contrast between the trashy interior of the ferry juxtaposed with the beauty of the sea,” she says. “Trips on the ferry evoke a sort of nostalgia for the present that will soon be past — the sea surrounding the party is magnificent, but it is also this vast nothingness, ready to just swallow us up.”


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