“I was traveling in search for people who have decided to escape from social life and lived all alone in the wild nature, far away from any villages, towns or other people.
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.
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 all the time? 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. How to remain yourself in the midst of this?
I grew up in the heart of the big city, but I’ve always been drawn to wildlife - for me it's a place where I can hide and feel the real me, my true self, out of social context.”
Danila Tkachenko is a visual artist working with documentary photography. The main theme of his work is the identity. In the debut project “Transitional Age" he is interested in the transformation of a teenager’s identity – a child becomes an adult. In his following project "Escape" the focus shifts to the opposition of the individual and society. Danila researches the experience of hermits – people who live through decades alone with nature –and tries to find the answer for the critical questions: whether the individual freed from social environment becomes closer to his “true” self; and what happens to personality when it loses its "social mask".
All images © Danila Tkachenko