Pierre de Vallombreuse

The last nomadic tribe of the sea
Lost at the other end of the world, here are the Badjao, the last nomadic tribe of the sea. Sailing in the waters of the seas of China and of Célèbes, along the coasts of the Moluccas Islands as well as in the depths of the Flores sea, the Java sea and Banda sea in Indonesia, they have chosen freedom. Fearsome sailors, they sail along the coasts of Borneo until Roti, Timor or Arnhem Land.

Stateless, living in a part of the world given over to pillage and anarchy, a powder keg handed over to pirates and extremists of all kinds, Badjaos are often settled by force on the coasts of Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. Today, hardly a few thousands of them still resist to the implacable progress of the so-called “modern” world.

A wild, free and poetic people, as Pierre de Vallombreuse likes to refer to them. Everyday life is tough and a part of them is about to give up its freedom against some safety. For how long then will nomadism survive ?

Victims of the modern world
Badjao’s existence is threatened by global warning as well as by intensive fishing that destroys fish, their main resource; thereby demolishing their traditional way of life. If they are still free, they are poor – and their desperate attempts to survive are not always successful. For how long will they still keep the fabulous privilege of contemplating the sky from their frail boats ?

A resolute witness
A restless witness involved in the defense and survival of native populations victims of our contemporary civilization, Pierre de Vallombreuse chose photography as the best means to show and stand up for this precious diversity – the last manifestation of an endangered wild world. As Edgar Morin – a French sociologist and philosopher –, stresses, Pierre de Vallombreuse found his own humanity by discovering their humanity. In this battle, he also discovered the sense of his life.


Exhibition from June 18
to September 25, 2021