Lucas Foglia’s photo series ‘A Natural Order’ is very similar to a photo series I posted up months ago by photographer Eric Valli called ‘Off The Grid’. A series about people who have, for a variety of reasons – political, religious, apocolyptical – decided to go off grid and live as self sufficently as possible. Foglia could have shot a dramatic series of photos, a call to arms, but he didn’t. What seems to have interested him was the simple lives of his subjects. The everyday.
This decision – which is probably influenced by his own growing up in rural New York State with a family that eschewed all capitalism has to offer – makes this a very sincere and honest portrait of people who have turned their back on a civilisation that is eating itself to death.
Here’s what he has to say about the project:
From 2006 through 2010, I traveled throughout the southeastern United States befriending, photographing, and interviewing a network of people who left cities and suburbs to live off the grid. Motivated by environmental concerns, religious beliefs, or predictions of economic collapse, they build their homes from local materials, obtain their water from nearby springs, and hunt, gather, or grow their own food.
All the people in my photographs are working to maintain a self-sufficient lifestyle, but no one I found lives in complete isolation from the mainstream. Many have websites that they update using laptop computers, and cell phones that they charge on car batteries or solar panels. They do not wholly reject the modern world. Instead, they step away from it and choose the parts that they want to bring with them.
I thought I’d add in this excerpt from an interview with Natalie one of women Foglia photographed over the four years:
Natalie: A lot of us who live here came with a kind of post-activist outlook—realizing that the world is really messed up, that nature is being destroyed, and being incredibly dissatisfied with consumer culture and the whole idea of success in modern society. All of us wanted to live close to the land, and realized that the way things are going to change is not through activism.
Of course it’s not perfect, but it’s the closest that I’ve ever seen when it’s functioning . . . we’re getting most of our food from the land and living mostly outside, getting to know the natural materials of our area—what we can make shelter out of, what we can eat, what we can make medicine out of. We are coming to understand how it’s possible to live without civilization.
Lowell: The last year I worked in business, I made over $250,000. The next year I made $3,600 [laughs]. It finally worked up to about $6,000. And we’re doing fine. You don’t spend money, so you don’t have bills
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