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 major part of my trips were done in Russia.
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.
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.
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.
Danila Tkachenko was born in Moscow in 1989. In 2014 he graduated from the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia, department of documentary photography. In the same year he became the winner of the World Press Photo 2014 competition with the project “Escape” which he worked on for 3 years. In 2015 he finished the project “Restricted Areas” which has received a number of international awards including European Publishers Award For Photography, Burn Magazine grant, and included in the Dutch magazine Foam Talents. In 2016 completed series “Lost Horizon”, in 2017 published projects “Motherland” and “Monuments” which have caused a wide public response. In 2018 by the invitation of Qatar Museums Danila realized the series “Oasis”. In 2019 completed series “Heroes” and “Acid”. Tkachenko’s photos were published in such magazines as BBC Culture, The Guardian, IMA Magazine, GUP Magazine, British Journal of Photography, National Geographic.