Tanja Hollander, on a quest to finding out what friendship really is, travelled the world to take pictures of all her 626 Facebook friends in their homes.
The project,"Are You Really My Friend?" which Hollander started sometimes back in 2011 took about 6 years to complete. She travelled an average of 2 weeks every month, chronicling her journey for fans on Facebook and Instagram. By the time the project was over somewhere in Israel in 2016, she’d visited four continents, 12 countries, and 34 states, and over 400 homes.
The "Are You Really My Friend?" photo series takes a look at our relationships online and offline.
"They are just two different forms of communicating," Hollander said. Adding that "It's not always possible to see friends IRL regularly, especially those who live far away. So virtual ways to communicate are fantastic, especially FaceTime. Being able to see and talk to friends so far away is incredible technology, and also being able to see my family and friends back home while I'm travelling is also great."
Hollander admits she is fascinated by the power of social media and even attributes it to the list of artistic mediums, such as painting, photography and filmmaking. However, she isn't blind to the effect social networking's had on our interpersonal relationships and community building.
About if this project answered Hollander's questions and thoughts about friendship
“I learned that people come in and out of your life at different times for different reasons,” she said "There is value in relationships that are fleeting and are ephemeral. I have friends that will go see music with me but won’t go see art with me. That doesn’t mean our friendships are less real. And as we get older and have kids and families and relationships, things will change and continue to change. That doesn’t mean our friendships weren’t meaningful at the time.”
Her photographs have been exhibited in museums all over the world and can also be viewed online as well.