Pierre de Vallombreuse
Pierre de Vallombreuse was born in Bayonne in 1962.
It is Joseph Kessel, a close friend of his parents, who inspired him to be an observer of his times.
In 20 years of travel on all the continents, he has put together a unique photographic collection of more than 130,000 images, on 41 autochtonous minorities, thus paying tribute to this precious diversity and getting us to discover the reality of these people.
In 1984, he got into the ‘École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs’ of Paris with the desire of making a career as a cartoonist. But a trip to Borneo the very next year changed the course of his life. He discovered the Punans, one of the last nomads of the forests and shared their daily life.
From a sedentry artist he decided to become a nomadic witness of his times and photography became his mode of expression. Still a student of the ‘Arts décoratifs’ of Paris, he spent long séjours in the jungles of the Philippines with the Palawans. In total, he spent more than 2 years with them. The first part of this work on the Palawans was presented at the prestigious photographic festival «Les Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles » He was the general secretary of the association Anthropology and Photography (university Paris VII) with Jean Duvignaud, Emmanuel Garrigues, Jean Malaurie and Edgar Morin.
Since then, he regularly collaborates with leading international magazines: GEO (France, Russia, Germany, Spain, Korea, Japan), Sciences et Avenir, Le Monde 2, Le Figaro Magazine, Newsweek, El Mundo, El País, La Stampa.
Between 2007 and 2012, he worked on his project called ‘Hommes Racines’ ‘The Roots people’. Over 5 years, he travelled to very different parts of the globe to photograph 11 autochtonous minorities.
The main purpose of this project is to show the intimate relationship between man and his environment. It is also a testimony of the diversity of lifestyles on this planet, as also the various kinds of practices and traditional knowledge which take root differently in very different environments. These cultures are the guardians of knowledge, essential for the preservation of biodiversity on this planet.
This project aims to make people aware of a ‘sustainable humanity’ whose corollary is the protection of nature. Each time linked to a specific minority, the project emphasizes the very many different answers to the diverse conditions of life, imposed by nature and history. It is in this context that the concept of ‘Roots’ is adressed. Homme Racine the project talks about the profound changes affecting our modernity by photographing completely different existences ; on one hand of people totally rooted in their territory and on the other people who have been completely uprooted from their lands. Indigenous people are often the first victims of environmental disasters: food shortages, deforestation, global warming, pollution, water wars, crucial questions that far from being local concern our entire humanity. Since 2007, this project has resulted in 12 exhibitions and numerous publications.