Ever wanted to drop off the grid and escape the pressures of contemporary society? You’re not alone. Plenty of wayward individuals have escaped the clutches of a 9-5 life and fled to the countryside. Want to know more about the people living this nomadic lifestyle? Well you’re going to have to go to them… because they’re off the grid.
Between 2010 and 2013, French photographer Anoine Bruy did just that. With his camera in hand, he hitchhiked across Europe without any destination or route in mind. Along the way he went in search of individuals who had traded in city life and retreated into the wilderness. While some had once been seasoned professionals in areas including teaching and engineering, they now spend their days living off the land.
Bruy’s ‘Scrublands’ series examines the relationship between the people Bruy met and their relationship to privacy, their physical environment and the economic conditions that determine them. Rather than making a political statement, Bruy wanted to capture the magic of an alternative lifestyle. “The people and places depicted in my pictures display various fates which I think should not be seen at a political level, but more importantly, as daily and immediate experiences,” he said. “These are, in some ways, spontaneous responses to the societies these men and women have left behind. This documentary project is an attempt to make a kind of contemporary tale and to give back a little bit of magic to our modern civilization.”
As Bruy discovered, sometimes the best photographs don’t come you. You’ve have to go to them.