Ieva Raudsepa holds a BA in Philosophy and has graduated from several non-formal photography schools, most recently – the ISSP International Masterclass with Aaron Schuman. Her photography work has been exhibited and featured internationally, including i-D, Latvian Photography Yearbook, FK Magazine. Her series Cruise was shown in the exhibition MIXTAPE, as part of the Riga Photomonth 2016 programme. Ieva is based in Riga, Latvia. 

Cruise takes place on an overnight ferry that goes between Riga and Stockholm. The tickets are cheap, so a lot of young people put on their best (or their worst) outfits, and take a ride to get away, to have some fun.

 I.    “I really don’t know where he could be. We’ve looked for him everywhere,” Z said. I felt she wanted to stop the search. I did too. He’s probably just walking around. And anyway, unless he jumped off the ferry (an unlikely possibility), there’s really no place he could get lost. “But how could he just disappear?” H said nervously: “He just went out for a smoke, and now he’s nowhere to be found.” “But, H, everything is fine. He’ll turn up, he can’t get lost here. Let’s just go to sleep,” Z said, and I wished that H would listen, and we could all just go to bed.

“Ok,” she said calmly, “You go. But I’ll wait for him to come back. I won’t be able to fall asleep before.”

II.     When we got up to the disco, a man approached us. He could barely stand, but tried talking to us anyway. It was a mix of English and Swedish, so I didn’t really understand anything he was trying to say. G could make something out of it and had a short conversation with the fellow. When he was done talking, and we were about to leave, he turned to us with one last question: “Guys,” he said in broken English, “Can you tell me, where are we going to now - Riga or Stockholm?”

III.    “When will it stop?” E asked, “It’s freaking me out.” The cracking of the ice was pretty disturbing, and the fact that our cabin was on the lowest level possible, under the car park, was kind of scary. The breaking of ice sounded as if the ship was sinking, and from where we were sitting, we could hear it best. It was January 1st, and outside it was already dark and very cold, even though it was barely 8 o’clock. Why did we get on the ferry at this time of the year, I thought. The atmosphere was pretty dark – there were not a lot of people, and most of them were truck drivers for whom the trip was part of their work. “Ah, I’ll go upstairs,” E said. “Maybe they’ll have internet there.” She left. A and I stayed in the cabin. “What do we do now?” A asked.  “I don’t know,” I answered. I looked at the evening programme, “Well, the show starts in half an hour. Maybe, we can still buy a lottery ticket. Let’s do that.” “Okay. We have to leave this cabin – I feel as if we’ve boarded the Titanic.”

IV.    “Why won’t she open the door,” A asked, while knocking and trying to get into the cabin. We had forgotten our key-cards inside, and E was the only one inside, but just wouldn’t respond to us asking her to open the door. “This is typical E”, Z commented, kind of annoyed by the entire situation. “I don’t know what we did wrong for her to not let us in now,” I said, while sitting down on the floor in the hall. “Maybe something bad has happened to her. Maybe she’s sick. Or maybe she left the room after we did, and now there is nobody inside.” “She’s inside,” Z replied kind of irritated by my naivety. “Okay, well it’s not worth standing here. Even if she hears us, she won’t let us in,” A concluded.

V.    It was an overwhelming moment. I had just won that evening’s big game, and S got second place, so we were sitting there popping the champagne that we got as a prize. S also won a box of chocolates; I won tickets for another ride on the ferry.