Over the past 20 years, the world may have undergone one of the greatest transformations since the end of World War II, and the lifestyle in large urban centers has been practically standardized. Our biological clock has disconnected from the cycles of Mother Nature and even in some parts of Africa, millennial tribes are slowly adopting the litter of the American Way of Life. Increasingly, we want the same products and share the same technologies. We are literally connected through the internet and the ghosts that haunt us are also the same: Fear of facing the scarcity of natural resources, the constant threat of a collapse in the global economy, extremism, the possibility of a third world war and the abyss Colossal among the richest 1% and the vast majority poorer.
But not everyone wants to live like this, and it was precisely in the more developed regions of the planet that some individuals decided to break with this new order of things and started to live completely out of the system. And this, which seems to be a spontaneous behavior of rupture, without flags, not wanting to persuade anyone to follow them, is being recorded through the work of 2 French photographers: Eric Valli and Antoine Bruy.
Bruy who since 2012 has photographed this type of life in Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Wales, also visited about 15 camps in his home country, France. The focus of his photos are people who have detached themselves from the big cities and have come to survive through subsistence farming, cattle breeding and hunting.
“I still want to meet people who have decided to leave American society to hide in places where they could live differently,” he says. “I think there are a lot of people like that in America.” – and there really is, and that’s the focus of Eric Valli’s work.
Valli spent 3 years in the United States photographing people who decided to live “Off the Grid”, out of the system, who totally abdicated the comforts of post-internet life to live in a practically savage way. In the photos of Eric it is possible to realize that there are 3 distinct groups living thus in the USA. The solitary hunter of the forest, the family that seems to live like the Amishes, but are not of that religious group, and in the extreme there are those who resemble the hunter-gatherers, the early homo sapiens.
Check out the photos from Eric Valli’s “Off The Grid” series and Antoine Bruy’s “Scrublands” essay.
OFF THE GRID, POR ERIC VALLI