Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami


South East Asia: 2004-2014

On Boxing Day 2004, I was out in the Andaman Sea with local fishermen of the semi-nomadic Chao-Ley tribe. Little did we know that about half an hour after setting off, we'd be faced with a near-death experience of incredible power - a tsunami.

In this BBC interview, I talk about what had happened that day and how we survived.

Over the next ten years, I returned to South East Asia many times. I wanted to pay homage to the People of the Sea (Urak Lawoi ) and those who saved my life that day.

My travels took me to Bali, Borneo, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The portraits focus mostly on generations within families.


  • Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Interview on BBC


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    Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Dusk (Urak Lawoi)


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    Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Moken Lady (Urak Lawoi)


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    Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Pirate Chest (Urak Lawoi)


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    Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Alone (Urak Lawoi)


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    Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Father and Son (Urak Lawoi)


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    Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Little Drummer (Urak Lawoi)


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    Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Wheelbarrow (Urak Lawoi)


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    Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Grandma and Grandson (Urak Lawoi)


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    Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Moken Gentleman (Urak Lawoi)


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    Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Grandson and Grandpa (Urak Lawoi)


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    Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Beach Ball (Urak Lawoi)


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    Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Borneo Kids (Urak Lawoi)


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    Forced to "Surf" a Tsunami | Whistling (Urak Lawoi)