She asked best friends to pose for her. The result is a moving study of sisterhood
Photographer Lucía Vázquez started the project Chosen Sisters to cope with isolation during the second wave of COVID-19 in her hometown in Buenos Aires.
From her apartment's rooftop, Vázquez hung up a floral backdrop and invited pairs and groups of friends. She wanted to document the meaning of long-time friendships that have become as close as family.
Vázquez asked each group the meaning of their relationship and the formula to their long-lasting friendship. She also includes archival photographs and letters in the series.
A friendship that was meant to be
"We were born with a 2-month difference," Augustina Cecilia Buratti told of her friendship with Carolina Fatta.
"Our mothers are sisters, and we have been best friends since the moment they both got pregnant."
"Our friendship is characterized by being unconditional and timeless," Buratti explains.
"Regardless of the time we spend without seeing or speaking, we can always have a sleepover and chat about everything, knowing that we are going to share an intimate moment as if not a single day would have passed."
A friendship based in sisterhood
"We have been friends since we were two years old; we literally grew up together," Ornella Tedesco said of her friendship with Bianca Emiliozzi.
"We did kindergarten, middle and high school together."
"Our friendship is based on giving each other our space," Tedesco explains.
The two friends don't talk everyday any more but they are always there for each other.
"She is my sister," Tedesco said. "That is the perfect summary of our friendship."
A friendship that moves mountains
Ana Belén Soria, Jimena Falasca and Elizabeth Saiegh met in kindergarten in 1989 when they were 4-years-old.
"I don't want to get emotional because I will cry, but they are truly my sisters and soulmates," Soria said.
"I know that if I'm in Australia and something happens to me, they move heaven and earth to help me."
They call themselves chosen sisters.
"We have a shared tattoo — a tiny heart," Soria said. "It's a symbol that we are always united."
A friendship with no judgments or secrets
"What I like most about our relationship is that she will never judge me, and I will never judge her," Noelia Deluca said of her relationship with Ailen Laurna.
"We have no secrets," Deluca said. "There are no filters. It is a sincere and true friendship."
Deluca and Laurna have been best friends for more than 20 years.
"We support each other's projects, pushing ourselves to be better, to not get stuck, to always push forward," Deluca said. "Maybe those are the elements for a relationship to last over time."
A friendship that doesn't need frequency
"As Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges once said 'Friendship does not need frequency,' that's how we describe our relationship, a 'Borgian friendship.'
"It's not a childish friendship, it is an adult one, we don't claim each other," Juana Olano said. "We can spend months without seeing each other, and when we do it's like it hasn't passed a single day."
Olano and Fiocca said that no matter what happens in life, they will always have each other.
"With the years we realized that it doesn't matter where we are or what happens, we always have each other," Olano said. "Her friendship is my childhood, adolescence, and adulthood all in one."
Follow Lucia Vazquez on Instagram: @luciavazquezph.
Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.