Antoine Bruy Documents Individuals Who Have Abandoned Society for the Simplicity of Wilderness

Twenty-eight year old photographer Antoine Bruy’s ongoing project “Scrublands” documents the lives of those who have chosen a tranquil, isolated existence far removed from developed society. Farming and foraging and living in handmade shelters made from recycled materials, the individuals in Bruy’s photographs have thrown off the comforts-and the expectations-of fast-paced modern life in favor of peace and simplicity.

Many of Bruy’s subjects have given up entirely different lives to relocate to abandoned villages in remote areas of Europe. Former teachers, students, and engineers, his subjects are now farmers and shepherds raising livestock alongside their families, isolated by nature.






Hitchhiking across several countries in Europe between 2010 and 2013, Bruy came across his subjects largely by chance. Bruy would often stay with those he encountered for several days or even weeks (sometimes as long as a month) helping them to farm and to watch over their animals. While the series was shot in several different countries, Bruy notes that the settlements he photographed shared the distinct characteristics of handmade structures, recycled materials, and agrarian lifestyle.



Bruy plans to continue shooting for “Scrublands” next year, this time exploring the United States.

You can find more of Bruy’s work on his website.

All images used with permission.

[Via FeatureShoot]

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James Nedresky's picture

Excellent documentary of those "seldom-seen" using their ingenuity to live a chosen lifestyle. It will be interesting to see how those in America go about it and how it might differ from the "back-to-the-land" counter culture movement of the late 60's. Interesting how he stayed with some of his subjects, living and working with them for some time, and getting to know them. I'm sure that it made a big difference when he asked to take some pictures.

Lorenzo P's picture


TM's picture

lol these people are just depressing to look at sorry.

sicha ned's picture

really? you find people who listened deep inside them and did what seemed right to them depressing? well.. that´s depressing!

asasd's picture

yea, they listened to their deep insides and they put themselves in a fucked up situation. human beings never lived alene like these guys. it just against human nature.

Vegard Fjalestad Pedersen's picture

They are humans, ergo, they cannot do anything that is against the human nature. I might be outside of the norms of our society, but quite frankly that is two completely different things. Before you comment on such things you might actually try learning the meaning behind the words you use to state your main argument. If not you might come off as all sorts of things.

Greg Taillon's picture

The notion of "human nature" is a construction—a total myth, with, depending on whom you ask, totally conflicting 'essences' it supposedly exhibits.

Veldask Krofkomanov's picture

really? so someone has a different thought pattern than you and you call that depressing? you're not better than the person you just ridiculed.

ReinoldFZ .'s picture

I wouldn't use the same words as TM but I agree. There is a difference between live your live with your codes, that is not bad, but I see children and I think that isn't fair. Me and children of my generation lived in a similar way but because the terrorists, so I understand when selfish adults force to children to practice a life style that is not the best with the times and present technology. But in this case is worse because they're their own parents.

Szymon's picture

Danila Tkachenko has won this years WPP with similar (imo far better) series.

James Nedresky's picture

Similar type of visual story with both photographers, yet Tkachenko's has a much darker, hidden feel. To me, it seems that he is exploring his own inner questions and thoughts, and his images seem to be more about him than about his subjects. Both photo essays are very strong in my opinion, and also quite different.

MorZar's picture

Well he's still wearing a watch ... he must have a smartphone hidden somewhere ;)

Kasper Løftgaard's picture

I like this. Saw his exhibition at Lumix this year. Really nice, and much more interesting than all the model/headshot/look-at-all-my-strobes kind of photography that often gets high praise in these parts of the woods!

James Nedresky's picture

+1...oh heck, +100

SeductiveStudios's picture

Very cool stuff.

Thaddeous Jordan's picture

Nice work

Jason Hudson's picture

Beautiful, soulful photos