Living off Grid: French photographer Antoine Bruy captures the lives of families who escaped dependency upon the rat race to live simpler lives off the land [PICS] - www.ofINTEREST.net



El Pardal, Sierra de Cazorla, Spain, 2013.
El Pardal is a place situated in the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park, established in 1986. This is where Antoine Bruy encountered Amiro, a German man who has been living in an area of the park for the last 25 years. The nearest village is a 3 hour walk away.


12 August 2014, by Mikhael Love, IIO

Could you or have you ever thought of living where there's no running water, no supplied heating source and no food market for as far as the eye can see?

Throughout the world, there are the families who have done just that and many more having thoughts of going rough. They have chosen to turn their backs on the breakneck speed of modern life to become at one with nature, free from the rat race.

By what ever name used to reference - prepping, survival, homesteading, nomad, "off the grid", "back to land", recluse, roma, gypsy ... - to those who leave the so-called social/economic society of today's seemingly humane way of living, life is just what they are making it. Perhaps one day we will look back at people who undertake such a way of life as the real humans!?

This report focuses on those throughout Europe who have taken up the life of leaving it all for times gone by.

Leaving city life for mountain ranges including the Carpathians and The Pyrenees, they pride themselves on living "off the grid" without access to any of the mod-cons that the 21st Century may have to offer.

French photographer Antoine Bruy spent years traveling across Europe interacting and photographing men, women and children who have joined the so-called 'back-to-land' movement on their very own organic farms.

Ramounat in The Pyrenees is well known to be the birthplace of back-to-the-land movement in France. It is here Bruy met Peter, a German man who has been living there for the last 30 years. He came originally with his wife and children, but they left decades ago. The ramshackle house belongs to Peter.

During this age of hand-held technology and urban living, a Waldenesque desire to live removed from it all has taken hold. Most of us only dream about a more solitary life abandoned to the wilderness. Photographer Antoine Bruy did just that, spending a period of time between 2010 and 2013 hitchhiking through Europe with no fixed course or destination for his series "Scrublands".

Driven by random encounters and chance, Bruy met those individuals who have sacrificed all modern comforts for autonomy from social expectations and consumption. The photographer would stop for days and sometimes weeks at at time, helping people farm land or raise cattle. He notes that though he shot in several countries, the communities are homogeneously linked through makeshift buildings, recovered materials and agriculture-based living. Still today, the "Roma" who have been living such lives for years, upon years, exist throughout Europe. For reasons both political and deeply personal, Bruy finds a distinct beauty in a world where there is no clock ticking or desperate necessity to conquer, “but a ballet of days and nights, seasons and lunar cycles.”

Vincent, The Pyrenees, France, 2012.
Mr. Bruy met Vincent who was a mathematics student that shunned academia for a simpler life.. He has been living in Ramounat for the last 7 years.

Urs, The Pyrenees, France, 2012
This boy who has grown up in the so-called 'back-to-land' movement poses with his dog in Urs.

The Workshop, The Pyrenees, France, 2012.

Marcel, The Pyrenees, France, 2012

Olivier nursing a sheep, Ardèche, France, 2010

Olivier is a French shepherd who raises sheep and goats. Here he is nursing a sheep who was bitten by a dog. Bruy spent one month with Olivier and his wife to watch the animals and help out with their land.


Lake of Laghetto, Alps, Switzerland, 2013

Christian, Alps, Switzerland, 2013
Sabine, Alps, Switzerland, 2013
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Bruy met Christian in Ces, a tiny village situated in the Leventina Valley. In the early 70′s some young people discovered Ces as an abandoned village and started rebuilding it. Before arriving there, Christian was an engineer. He’s been living in Ces for the last 30 years and is now raising cows with his wife Sabine. Sabine has been living there for the last 15 years with her husband Christian who left a life as a teacher of philosophy and literature.



Two girls taking a bath, Carpathians, Romania, 2013


Julian working on the bathtub, Sierra del Hacho, Spain, 2013

Composting Toilets, Sierra Nevada, Spain, 2013

The Swing, Sierra del Hacho, Spain, 2013

Sierra de Cazorla, Spain, 2013


Mr. Bruy teamed up with a movement that links volunteers with organic farmers. He would stay for months at a time helping with task in return. The people are those who abandoned a lifestyle of performance, efficiency and consumption in order to build trust. Mr. Bruy sought to gain a deeper understanding of this.

This make-shift pyramid dwelling is how many of the people Mr Bruy met were living. They have no access to running water, central heating or any other mod cons


Antoine Bruy plans to continue "Scrublands" next year in the United States.
Here you can find a fund that has been set up to help with this endeavor:

(note: all photos were taken by Antoine Bruy)

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