Portrait Pierre de Vallombreuse


Pierre Vallombreuse


Pierre de Vallombreuse was born in Bayonne in 1962. Having met the novelist and international reporter Joseph Kessel, a friend of his parents’, he felt the need to bear witness to his times very early on.

In 1984, he entered the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, with the aim of becoming a press illustrator. However, the following year, a trip to Borneo, during which he lived with the Palawan people, the last jungle nomads, radically changed the course of his life.

The sedentary artist became a nomadic observer, and photography became his means of expression. While still a student at the Arts Décoratifs in Paris, he repeatedly made long trips to the Philippines jungle with the Palawan people. He spent a total of over four years living with them.

A first part of his work on the Palawan people was presented at the photo festival Les Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles in 1988.

Pierre de Vallombreuse was secretary general of the Association Anthropologie et Photographie (Paris VII university), created by Edgar Morin, Emmanuel Garrigues, and Jean Malaurie. He published over a dozen books and exhibited his work in festivals, museums and galleries.

He regularly collaborates with important international magazines such as Newsweek, El Mundo, El País, La Stampa, Le Monde, GEO, Photo Answers, Figaro Magazine, L’Oeil de la Photographie and Camera International.

Since 1986, Pierre has relentlessly testified to the lives of indigenous peoples around the world. These indigenous peoples bear witness to the diversity of responses to living conditions imposed by nature and history.

Pierre de Vallombreuse unveils the complex reality of the way of life of these weakened peoples whose heritage is essential for us. He fights for their respect and their fair representation.

His work is like a wake-up call. It is structured around vast projects that are carried out over many years: Peuples, Hommes racines, Souverains, Badjao – une disparition silencieuse, La Vallée, W. Project USA. Their aim is to alert the public about the fate of these populations, for far from the primitive, exotic and archaic reality conveyed about them, the reality that he shows us through photography is quite different: it’s a fight for their survival.

These populations are indeed way too often the primary victims of genocides, war, racist ideologies, economic predation, food shortages and environmental disasters.
These are crucial issues which, rather than being limited to these faraway territories, pertain to our humanity.

Over 30 years, Pierre de Vallombreuse has constituted a unique photographic collection of 130 000 photographs of 43 indigenous groups the world over, which honours cultural diversity and reveals these peoples’ realities.


The valley :

  • Traveling Photographers Routes Festival. Bordeaux, April 2019
  • National Museum of the Philippines. Quezon, Palawan, 2019
  • National Museum of the Philippines, 2017

The people of the valley, chapter 1:

  • Museum of Man, Paris. January 18 – June 30, 2018
  • Photo of the Bellême festival, summer 2018

Tribute to Claude Lévi-Strauss:

  • Greater Paris Photo Month. Hegoa Gallery, April 2017

Kings :

  • House of Photography in La Gacilly, 2016.
  • Espace Krajcberg, Paris 2016
  • Argentic Gallery, Paris 2015

Roots Men (2008-2011):

  • Blue Sky gallery Portland USA, 2015
  • Espace Krajcberg, Paris 2016
  • The Free Fields, Rennes, 2012
  • La Gacilly Photo Festival. La Gacilly. France 2012
  • Bethon, 2011

The Hadzabes of Tanzania, a suffering people:

  • Free Fields, Rennes, 2011

The Inuit of Greenland, towards independence:

  • The Free Fields, Rennes, 2010

Nomadic Rabaris, the last caravans – Gujarat, India:

  • Saint-Jacques de la Lande, September 2010

The Aymaras, return to power of indigenous peoples in Bolivia (Aymara People, indigenous people back in power in Bolivia):

  • Le Rheu, September 2010
  • The Free Fields, Rennes, 2009

The Rabari people, nomadism and freedom – Gujarat, India:

  • People & Nature Photo Festival, La Gacilly, 2010
  • Screening and conference, La maison des Métallos, Paris, 2009

The Bhils, between forest and desert (Bhil people, between forest and desert):

  • People & Nature photo festival, La Gacilly, 2009

The people of the roots:

  • Delhi, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum and Bhopal, India, 2008-2009

The Gwitchins’ struggle – Yukon, Canada (Gwitchins’es struggle):

  • The Free Fields, Rennes, 2008

Nomadic Badjaos, a silent disappearance – Borneo, Sabah, Malaysia (Nomadic Badjaos, a silent disappearance):

  • People & Nature Photo Festival, La Gacilly, 2008

La Dalle, trips to Choisy-le-Roi:

  • Paul Eluard Theater, Choisy-le-Roi. January – March 2010

Peoples Project (2006 – 2009):

  • Photographic meetings of Saint-Benoît, 2009
  • Musef, Ethnographic Museum of La Paz, Bolivia, 2009
  • Espacio de Arte Uno Manzana, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 2008
  • Photographic meeting in Créteil, 2008
  • The Free Fields, Rennes, 2007
  • Visa exhibition for the image, Perpignan, 2006
  • Exhibition Chamonix Science Festival, 2006
  • Espal, Le Mans, 2006
  • Museum of Man, Paris, 2006
  • Existences, Fortress of Polignac, Polignac, 2006

Rukmini’s Sacred Dance:

  • House of the Indies, Paris, 2004

People into war:

  • Screening of the Bayeux-Calvados Prize for War Correspondents, 2002

The Rock People, Palawan, Philippines (Rock people, Palawan, Philippines):

  • Museum of Cultures and Traditions, Manila 1994
  • Nomadic Chronicles Festival, Honfleur, 1998

Philippines – Exchange Archipelago:

  • Quai Branly Museum, Paris, 2013

Black and white, free spirits:

  • Orenda Gallery, Paris, 2012

Forests and People:

  • Royal Palace, Paris, 2011

The Hadzabes of Tanzania, a suffering people:

  • Festival l’oeil en Seyne, la Seyne sur mer, 2011

The Inuit of Greenland, towards independence:

  • Cultural event, Snows of Cultures, Serre-Chevalier, 2010/2011

Perspectives on the Americas:

  • Confluence Museum, Lyon, 2009

Thirty years of reporting in Figaro Magazine:

  • Gates of the Senate, Paris, 2008

Water and dreams:

  • Kamchatka Gallery, Paris, 2007

Around the World:

  • Traveling exhibition organized by the AFAA and Chroniques Nomades, 1999

Albert Kahn Planet International Prize, 2017

The hard life of Tulibac, a film by Pierre de Vallombreuse on the people of Palawan produced by Canal + and the BBC received 3 prizes:

  • Camera Alpin en Or International Island Film Festival, Groix Island, 2002.
  • First Prize International Mountain and Adventure Film Festival, Graz, Austria, 2001
  • First prize at the Île d’Or International Adventure Film Festival, Bailly, 2000.
  • Leonardo da Vinci Prize, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1993.

The Hard Life of Tulibac , a film by Pierre de Vallombreuse about the people of Palawan. Produced by Canal+ and the BBC.

This film received three awards:

  • Camera Alpin en Or International Island Film Festival, Île de Groix, 2002
  • First Prize International Mountain and Adventure Film Festival, Graz, Austria, 2001
  • First prize at the Île d’Or International Adventure Film Festival, Bailly, 2000.