I’ve been watching the 2006 TV series Jericho, which is about the United States being bombed and how the people in a tiny Kansas town cope with the aftermath. They have no electricity, food is scarce, no internet and there is no connection to the outside world. At least, they have running water. It is not a life I think I could survive in – I mean, no Starbucks?! – and definitely one I would not choose voluntarily. I can’t even go camping for more than one night. And that’s pushing it.
Yet, in Europe, there are groups of people that have eschewed civilization to live off the land and off the grid. Leaving the fast-paced, stress-inducing, coffee-slurping, migraine causing rat race, these people live off the land, deep in the wilderness, choosing isolation over society and its conveniences. French photographer Antoine Bruy was fascinated by their “radical lifestyle” choice and began a photography project documenting the men and women who have forsaken the dependent lifestyle of the rest of the world for “greater energy, food, economic, or social autonomy.” For the last three years, he has hitchhiked across Europe and lived with these people, photographing their lives in the series, Scrublands.
Bruy learned their self sufficient ways, helped them with their farms, took care of animals and photographed their humble dwellings. He says of the series:
The people and places depicted in my pictures display various fates which I think, should not only be seen at a political level, but more importantly as daily and immediate experiences. These are in some ways, spontaneous responses to the societies these men and women have left behind. Therefore their land is exploited but never submitted, time has lost its tight linearity to become a slow and deliberate pace. No more clock ticking but the ballet of days and nights, seasons and lunar cycles.
So far, his self funded project has taken him through 5 different countries and now he is planning to come to the US to document the people living in the Appalachian Mountains. He has started a FotoFund campaign to help fund the journey, the cost of film and compiling the images in a book. You can contribute to his project here.
To see more of Antoine Bruy’s work, check out his website here.
[via The Mind Unleashed]
CREDITS: All photographs by Antoine Bruy are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.