Danila Tkachenko: Escape

“I grew up in the heart of the city, but I’ve always been drawn to the wilderness – for me, it’s a place where I can face the real me, the real me outside social context.”

Danila Tkachenko

With the photo series, titled ‘Escape’ (2014), Danila Tkachenko portrays people who live alone in the forests of Russia and Ukraine. The men in the pictures have consciously chosen a life outside society and, ultimately, lost their social identity. Some sought solitude for family reasons. Some had problems with the authorities.

The entire project took three years to complete, and he visited several areas in pursuit of his quest, from the Altai region to the Ural Mountains. He did groundwork for almost a full year to find people living in seclusion. He tried to trace people with the aid of local media and authorities.

There is a personal element in the photographs in the Escape series. Several years ago, Tkachenko became lost and had to spend months in the woods alone. This shattering experience led to further exploration of the relationship between human and society, along with the possibility of breaking free from social relations.

Danila Tkachenko (b. 1989) now lives in Saint Petersburg. He has received numerous awards, and the photography series Escape won first prize in the World Press Photo Contest in 2014.


PVF 2016
The Finnish Museum of Photography