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These Photos of Woodland Hermits Are A Glimpse Into A Captivating World Few Know These Photos of Woodland Hermits Are A Glimpse Into A Captivating World Few Know

These Photos of Woodland Hermits Are A Glimpse Into A Captivating World Few Know

For the majority of those who live in cities and towns of whatever size, the idea of living alone, completely cutoff from society could seem intimidating and perhaps terrifying. Yet, there are people who have chosen to go off the grid to immersed themselves in nature and live alone and completely isolated from the presumably “civilized” world. While it might seem peculiar, these people have chosen a fascinating lifestyle and ventured into the woodlands of Eastern Europe and make them their permanent home. They’re completely cut off from the constructs of modern civilization and are the focus of photographer Danila Tkachenko in his project called “Escape.”

Danila grew up in the Moscow, but was always drawn to the wilderness and set out to find people who had decided to simply connect with nature outside of the dysfunctional modern society.

“The main characters of my project violate social standards for different reasons. By a complete withdrawal from society they go live alone in the wild nature, gradually dissolving in it and losing their social identity. While exploring their experience, it is important for me to understand if one is able to break free from social dependence and get away from the public to the subjective – and thus, to make a step towards oneself.”


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The woodland dwellers live in caves or small thatched huts cut into the sides of cliffs or hills and survive in harmony with nature based on only what they need from hunting or gathering. At a surface it may seem like it a lonely life, however on the contrary it is said to be both grounding without the distractions of technology and society’s endless rat race.

There’s no telling when the last time they had a conversation with another human being was, and if they fall ill, there’s a good chance they’ll have to go without medical attention. Yet, even with these risks, they have found a peaceful life that suits their needs and offers them in a way, complete and total personal freedom and harmony.


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  • Edward Callahan

    Cold, wet and hungry is no way to go through life son. But who am I to say? Whatever floats their boat.

  • L. Boggs

    This is a great article! Beautiful pictures.