If you’re reading this, you’re probably living on the grid; like me you buy packaged food someone else grew most of the time, you pay rent or a mortgage, you have a car payment or a loan payment or some form of debt, your life is somewhat packed into the 9-5 box, either because you work in that world, or plenty of the people you know and love do. And if you’re reading this you have probably, at some point, felt the yearning to dissolve your connection to the grid, shake it loose like an old, heavy, dirty garment, and free yourself into a life in harmony with the earth and her natural rhythms, off the grid.
To most of us, it may seem like mere fantasy, but it is gorgeously real. Exemplifying this fascinating reality of off-grid living, photographer Antoine Bruy traveled Europe for three years connecting with a variety of families and individuals who live off the grid and he took magnificent photos to give what feels like a secret look into a strange, intimate, and beautiful world the average person may never see.
Without a specific route or destination, Bruy traveled through mountains and forests joining himself temporarily with the lives of individuals who have chosen to live self-sustaining lives away from broader society. He helped cultivate food and crops,take care of livestock, and was given the rare view of un-societized humans. What results is captivating, gorgeous, a bit haunting, and can certainly stir the longing you may feel within to shake the confines of the normal for an experience more organic.
The artist wandered through remote mountain regions without any fixed destination or route in mind, but along the way met several individuals who had willingly abandoned hectic city life in exchange for retreat in the deep wilderness. These people sacrificed modern comforts for greater autonomy and freedom, and in result became inspiration to the inquisitive photographer.
Bruy had the privilege to not only engage personally with these fascinating individuals, but to capture their light as the went about their existence in their earth dwellings. Many of these people had been teachers, students, engineers, etc and were individuals who learned how to manipulate, adapt, and cultivate the environment and the materials at hand to create dwellings, produce and find food, and go about daily tasks of life.
The beauty of these isolated and often pristine settings is simply captivating. Bruy explains, ““The people and places depicted in my pictures display various fates which I think should not only be seen at a political level, but more importantly, as daily and immediate experiences,” he explains. “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.”
All images belong to Antoine Bruy under copyright