Photographer of forgotten peoples



In the work of photographer Pierre de Vallombreuse, there is a time for the image, and a time for the legend. A time for fantasy and a time for reality. A time for familiarity and a time for a change of scenery. It must be said that they are rare to immerse themselves, like him, for so long, so intensely, so precisely in the life of almost forgotten peoples. With the Badjaos of the sea, the Badjao laut, we challenge pirates, modernity and we follow children without the slightest passport. Parents are concerned about the future. The only resource is fishing. The book tells like a long film of a physical life strewn with naps. The brave sail far offshore with a motor on their boat, the desperate snort glue in broad daylight, the women, also fishermen, bustle about at mealtime in their houseboat, and cook rice for a colony of black-eyed children. It is, once again, the work of a lifetime that the former war reporter signs. Is it because he rubbed shoulders, as a child and then as a young photographer, with the inspiration of the greatest (Joseph Kessel, Dali…) that he offers us such essential stories every time he returns from his trip? Pierre de Vallombreuse has dedicated an immense part of his life to indigenous peoples, from Zapatista Chiapas to Sudan via Indonesia and its “Valley” of the Philippines. There, adopted, he is. And when he returns to his Parisian studio, after months of absence, he does not quite know what people he belongs to. Since 1984, one thing is certain, part of him belongs to the Badjaos.

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