the apart project

A Photographic Exploration of remote islands & their communities


Welcome to the apart project

My name is Gregory Buda and I am a photographer, currently based in New York City.

The focus of both my life and my lens is travel, and for many years I have dedicated my work and free time to exploring the diverse people of our world, how they live and pass their time, what they value and celebrate, what they eat and drink, and what they leave behind. For most of my life, I have grappled with an odd fascination for islands and everything that they represent to us: isolation, solitude, escape, and unspoiled beauty. Given the sad reality that few truly unexplored places remain in this world, I see small, remote islands and the communities of people that inhabit them as the closest we can get to the unknown. These tiny outposts of society, growing and developing in isolation and surrounded by vast seas, can offer us a unique view of humanity. That is, if we are fortunate enough, or determined enough, to make it to their shores.

Photo credit: Brian Sweeney

Photo credit: Brian Sweeney

THE APART PROJECT is an exploration of island communities through photographs. Through this project, I seek to understand how these communities cope with their isolation and how it makes them unique, and to examine their often increasingly complicated relationships with the larger, faster world around them. With these images, I am asking questions. Who are these people living on specks of land so far removed from the relative mayhem of continental life? What makes them go to such isolated places, or what makes them stay? How do they connect with our wider world, with its rapid pace and constant change, its airlines, cell phones, wifi, and social media? Some islands may be left behind, disregarded, relegated to the margins of civilization, while others are overwhelmed by the influx of new technology, tourism, pollution, and forced changes to traditional ways of life. Do they fight this change, or embrace it?

Through these photo-essays, I offer a small window onto the faraway islands, atolls, and archipelagoes of our world, and into the lives of the people living there. I want to share my experiences of these communities with those of you who may never visit them in person—and preserve my impressions of them before the modern world once again alters their unique characters. My hope is that through this project, we can expand our perspectives and keep in our minds, as we look out over the ocean, that beyond the horizon lies a constellation of people spread across the water, both like us and very different, set, as they are, so apart.

Gregory J. Buda, Ph.D.

This project is ongoing, so please check back as more islands are added to library.

To see other samples of my photography work, please visit my portfolio here