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Anne de Vandière travels the world photographing the men and women of its endangered tribes. Her work highlights a vision of diversity rooted in ancestral traditions, a world of traditional gestures intimately linked to lifestyles and skills on the verge of disappearing forever.
"Hands cannot lie, they are natural, spontaneous, true, expressive and sincere," says photographer Anne de Vandière. "They touch our deepest human nature. Hand gestures are beautiful – our first point of contact with the world, our first communication tool."
Anne de Vandière has chosen to create a gallery of portraits in triptych form: hands and faces photographed in black and white, accompanied by short texts telling a life story through hand gestures. An accompanying edition of prints (50 x 60 cm) is available in colour and black and white. Building on her work with leading artists and personalities, her latest series captures the living heritage of tribes at the margins of modern civilization, through their manual skills and gestures: a visual archive of their fast-disappearing knowledge and oral cultures.
With support from the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès – reflecting its commitment to creativity, traditional skills and intercultural dialogue – Anne de Vandière has travelled to Senegal to work with seven ethnic groups including the Bediks, the Malinkes and the Dialonkes. In 2010, she plans to visit the Nenet people of Russia, and the Monpas of Bhutan.
The resulting portraits will feature in a series of exhibitions, 45-minute films and a new book: Tribus du Monde. Anne de Vandière plans to pursue the project over the next five years, recording the lives and skills of tribal peoples around the world, all of whom will receive funds from the sale of her photographs.
Anne de Vandière's work is also supported by Unesco and CulturesFrance.