You probably have good memories of being in nature: camping, hiking, exploring. But now imagine living there… That is not a decision to be taken lightly, since the ‘real’ world still offers certain benefits that for most of us are not worth giving up.
Even though it is tempting to think about what you would do if you had the chance to stay for a longer period of time. To live a simpler live and a possible stronger sense of self fulfilment whilst doing it.
It could trigger the imagination and get us excited, the idea of your life being just surviving, playing, eating, building and innovating. And maybe you think society is overrated anyway? Can you find the strength and courage, as these people have, to leave all comfort and luxury?
Danila Tkachenko is the photographer that captured the lifestyles of these unique hermits, mainly coming from Ukraine and Russia. This project came into existence because of his wish to see how these people actually lived after they chose to leave the modern world. He writes:
‘I am concerned about the issue of internal freedom in the modern society: is it at all reachable, when you’re surrounded by social framework all the time? School, work, family – once in this cycle, you are a prisoner of your own position, and have to do what you’re supposed to. You should be pragmatic and strong, or become an outcast or a lunatic. How to remain yourself in the midst of this?
I grew up in the heart of the big city, but I’ve always been drawn to wildlife – for me it’s a place where I can hide and feel the real me, my true self, out of the social context.’
There has been recognition for his work from all over the world and it is seen as significant for all people. Personal expresion and development are keywords when it comes to his work. His oeuvre consists mainly of three projects which have been awarded with multiple awards or have been featured in magazines and festivals. Have a look at his website.
Be mesmerised by the simplicity and uniqueness of each structure: some are more stark, some are more elaborate. Completely mirroring the person as they are and what they think is important in the way they want to live since these people have no building restrictions. All images below come from Tkachenko’s project ‘Escape’.