These Photos Offer a Glimpse Into Hermits’ Captivating Hidden World

For the majority of us who live in cities and towns, the idea of living alone, completely cut off from society can seem intimidating and perhaps terrifying.

Yet, there are people who have chosen to go off the grid to immerse themselves in nature and live alone, isolated from the presumably “civilized” world. While it might seem peculiar, these people have chosen a fascinating lifestyle.

An example of such people are the Woodland hermits, who ventured into the forests of Eastern Europe to make them their permanent home. They’re completely cut off from the constructs of modern civilization, and are the focus of photographer Danila Tkachenko’s latest project called “Escape.”

Danila grew up in 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.”

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 what they need from hunting or gathering. Even if it may seem like a lonely life on the surface, hermits say being without the distractions of technology and society’s endless rat race is actually incredibly grounding.

Obviously, being disconnected from their families and not having an easy access to medical care are two of the biggest drawbacks of such a lifestyle. Yet, even with them, woodland hermits say 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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