Faking a 42-day holiday to make a point

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snorkelling-zilla-van-den-born

In 2013 graphic designer Zilla van den Born graduated from HKU University of the Arts Utrecht with a project in which she fooled family and friends into believing she was on a 42-day-long journey through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

Fakebooking is so old hat that even British comedian Miranda Hart dedicated an episode, aptly called Holiday, to a fake vacation in Thailand.

But Van den Born went beyond the selfie with the giant poster of a palm tree-lined beach in the background. Writes Kickass Trips:

She followed an elaborate scheme of activities, all of it staged. The picture of her snorkelling in Thailand was taken in a swimming pool in Amsterdam and later photoshopped to make it look more tropical. She took photos in tropical aquariums at the Artis Zoo, went to a butterfly garden, bought exotic Asian souvenirs on the market and cooked Thai meals, in her own kitchen of course.

The book Van den Born created for her project is combined with a Layar app to recover the reality behind the manipulation. With her project Van den Born wanted to highlight the difference between our rational attitude to modern day photography (we know everything we see may have been manipulated) to our actual attitude: we still see photos as “the proof of an experience”.

Check her portfolio to see videos of her manipulations and the reactions of her friends and family to finding out it was all fake.

(Photo: Zilla van den Born)

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