Thought-Provoking Photographs Of People Living Alone In The Wilderness


Have you ever considered skipping town? Going to find yourself a nice secluded section of forest to build your newly isolated home? Here, no one could bother you, and no job would await. You could sleep in as late as you pleased and never ever hear someone knocking on your door. That is unless Danila Tkachenko found your private residence.

Russian photographer, Danila Tkachenko went out into the wilderness in search of people living alone and isolated from the luxuries, and stresses, of the modern day world. Hidden throughout Russian and Ukrainian forests he found an assortment of people that had decided to leave civil society to live instead as outcasts, or rather “escapers.”

These images by Danila show off some of the incredible people living a life truly against the norm, all on their own and in the middle of nowhere.


Living amongst other people, humans naturally form families, friends, and larger communities. For the majority this offers the comfort, stability and support necessary to feel happy and secure. For others, the thought of escaping to live alone, away from the pressures of society, sounds far greater an option.


As Danila emersed himself in his subjects, he searched to comprehend if one could truly break entirely free from the pressures of socialization and become their very own person, someone that does exactly as they want according to no one else. In a sense, this would be true freedom.


In Danila’s own words, “I am concerned about the issue of internal freedom in the modern society: how feasible it is, when you’re surrounded by a social framework…. School, work, family- once in this cycle, you are a prisoner of your own position, and have to do what you’re supposed to do.”


Just because you have to go to work each day, doesn’t mean that you want to. Naturally, we weigh the pros and cons of any option and whichever sounds less consequential is typically what we pick. Even if you don’t want to go to work, you need money and don’t want to loss you job and so you show up, at least most of the time.


Even though you have the freedom to technically do what you want in most scenarios, the consequences of not following through with an obligation, especially when others depend on you, restricts a great deal of your true freedom. Living alone in the wild removes all of these day-to-day confines.


On his official website, Danila questions if you should be strong and go along with the normal social constraints, or be true to your inner-self and instead be known as a “lunatic.”


Having grown up in a big city, Danila has always been drawn to the wilderness where he feels he can actually be, “my true self, out of social context.”



You might assume with modern day technology and the comforts associated with 2014, that no one would be living out on their own. Has anyone seen Man Vs. Wild or Naked and Afraid? It’s a tough life out there in the wilderness, especially when you must fend for yourself completly.


According to these rare photographs, many people have what it takes to survive, and happily so, out in the wild and all alone. Danila Tkachenko was able to find plenty of people living out in the remote corners of the wilderness, enough to fill the pages of his book, “Escape.”


The photos found in Danila’s “Escape” series earned the first place prize in the “World Press Photo Contest 2014.”


The quote inserted at the beginning of Danila’s book “Escape,” reads:

“Man does not need society at all, it’s the society that needs man. Society is a forced measure of protection and survival. Unlike a gregarious animal, man must live alone- in nature among animals, plants and in contact with them.” -Andrey Tarkovsky


Image Credits: Danila Tkachenko