I travelled in search of people who have decided to escape from social life and live all alone in wild nature, far away from any villages, towns or other people. Most of my trips were done in Russia.
I grew up in the heart of the big city, but I’ve always been drawn to the wilderness – for me it’s a place where I can hide and feel like my true self, outside any social context.
I am concerned about the issue of internal freedom in modern society: how feasible is it, when you’re constantly 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. You should be pragmatic and strong, or become an outcast or a lunatic.
The main characters of my project violate social standards for different reasons. Withdrawing completely from society, they go to live alone in the wild, gradually dissolving in it and losing their social identity. While exploring their experience, it was important for me to understand if it is possible to break free from social dependence and get away from the public to the subjective – and thus, make a step towards oneself.
Danila Tkachenko (born 1989) is a visual artist working with documentary photography. The main theme of his work is identity. He studied documentary photography at The Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. In 2014 he won first prize in the Staged Portraits category at the World Press Photo awards. Escape has been published by Peperoni books.