Tsunami book cover


On November 11, 2014, we launched our very first crowdfunding campaign. On #GivingTuesday, December 2, we went from 19% to 103% funded, in less than 12 hours.  By the time the campaign ended, Indiegogo contacted us to invite us to keep the campaign open indefinitely as part of their new InDemand initiative.  We are now working on our next set of goals—because this is a project that has no end. It will continue to evolve and produce ideas, partnerships, and physical works of art and thought, all in the name of strength and resilience.  

Phase I: The hardcover book and eBook are done and available for purchase. The fine archival prints are now in production and will be available to the general public soon.

Phase II: We are working with several partners on various initiatives, which shall be announced as they mature. 






On December 26, 2004, a shockwave reverberated around the world. The Indian Ocean tsunami took a quarter of a million lives and impacted hundreds of thousands more.  Watching the news, we were struck by the incessant flood of images of death and destruction washing over the airwaves. So we decided to do something different.

We wanted to honor and celebrate the strength and resilience of the human spirit in the face of complete and total devastation. A photojournalistic living tribute to the survivors of the tsunami, so that the world would never forget how bright and fierce the will to survive burns deep inside the human soul.

We brought the idea to ICLEI, one of our clients, who immediately jumped onboard and helped to fund the project.  We sent Dan Root, our top freelance photographer, to the region to photograph those surprising moments of inner strength, resilience, and yes, even laughter, of those who lived to rebuild their lives and their communities, and to tell their stories—stories too often ignored by mainstream media.

Of the 4500 images Dan brought back, we selected the most evocative and built a website. But our dream always was to publish a book.



TSUNAMI: IMAGES OF RESILIENCE is a gorgeous full-color hardcover book of the most striking and memorable images from Dan's trip to India and Thailand in March 2005. You can see some of the images from the book in the "IMAGES" section below.

We're also producing a digital version of the book—an eBook for your iPad, Kindle, Nook, or Kobo eReader.  

The print book is 112 pages, 10x8 landscape format.  The interior of the book will be printed in luscious four colors on 80lb matte paper.

The book layout is simple yet elegant:

  • Five sections of photographs: After the Wave, Water, Rebuild, Home, and Family. Poetic captions and quotes from Dan's original field notes accompany the images.
  • Personal statements by Dan and Birgitte 
  • Caption index that provides details about each image and where it was taken
  • A list of the international aid organizations active on the ground in the months following the tsunami

The release date is December 26, 2014, the tenth anniversary of the big wave.



These are the individuals who have contributed to our Indiegogo campaign. Our deepest gratitude goes out to you all!

(in alphabetical order by last name)

Anonymous (multiple contributors)

Gözde Avçi

Michel Baise

Pamela Bernhardt

Thomas Boyd

Jim Bull

Joe Bunting of The Write Practice

Brad Cantor

Christopher Dennis

Steve Farris

Claes Fredriksson of the Swedish Press

Therese Gietler

Joseph Giove of Common Passion and Sacred Adventures

Jim Golden

Sara Goodwin

Tania & Cy Hannon

Kyle Heddy

Jonalea Henderson-Neider

Cullen Howe

Silvie Kendall

Har Rai Khalsa

Diana Lanius

Juan Carlos Lenz de los Ríos

Chris Low

Judy Luk-Smit

Caren Selina Maitreya

Ed Marek

Dan McCauley

Sally McKay

Michael Meinberg

Vincent Musi

Sol David Neelman

Kelsye Nelson, author and co-founder of Writer.ly

John Oldfield of WASH Advocates

Joseph Rain

Luba Rasine-Ortoleva

Jade Rawlins

Jim Root

Tyson Root

Willie Runte

Catherine Sam-Long

George Semenec & Sherry Indyke

Michael Shore of MayanMajix.com

Katie Smerick

Jeff Smith

Steve Snyder

Milinn Spady

Cecilia Sträter

Jonah Sutherland

Alan Taxon

Rebecca Thomley

Don Thompson of nextpix

Fernando Treviño & family

Ruth Varner

Claudia Welss

Chris Willis

Jim Young

Jodie Yue

Gordon Yumibe



We are blessed to have the support of numerous kindred spirits who are helping to spread the word about the TSUNAMI: IMAGES OF RESILIENCE project and campaign:

California Health Medical Reserve Corps

Henry Oh

Dr. Jim Young

John Oldfield, WASH Advocates

Author & entrepreneur Kelsye Nelson

Singer/songwriter Nate Maingard


Sacred Adventures

Stanford Club of Thailand




These are a few of the images from the book. Just a few.

Making Poori

Making poori
A man makes Poori in his kitchen at the refugee camp set up by the Indian government
on the grounds of the Industrial Training Institute (ITI). Nagapattinam, India.


Three generations of water

Three generations of water
A pregnant Muslim woman walks by a water tank donated by UNICEF
to the World Vision India Relief Project camp. Nagapattinam, India.


Horizon in fragments

A horizon in fragments
A young woman shields her face from the sun as she looks out over a devastated landscape.
Chennai, India.


Did my homework, papa

Did my homework, papa
A young girl is on her way home after spending some quiet time doing homework
on this flat cement block in the midst of rubble and destroyed homes.
Nagapattinam, India.


Classmates forever

Classmates forever
Elementary schoolchildren from the World Vision refugee camp wait for a bus
to take them to school. Nagapattinam, India.


at school

We put the big wave on our wall
A schoolboy at the Thap La Mu elementary school laughs heartily as his picture is taken.
Behind him, on the wall, is a drawing the students made of the great tsunami that engulfed and destroyed their school.
Everything in the school, including the desks, is brand new. Khao Lak, Thailand.

Fishermen without fish

Fishermen without fish
Fishermen grounded by the tsunami sit in the sand in Cuddalore, India.


3km inland

Three kilometers inland
A large fishing vessel has been moved 3km from the beach in Ban Nam Kem,
nearly taking down an electric pole. Ban Nam Kem, Phang-Nga Province, Thailand.

A thousand new ships

A thousand new fishing boats
A crew of boat builders works on a new fishing boat in the fading light of day.
Kamala Beach, Phuket, Thailand.



This poem was written by Adelaide Shaw in response to Birgitte's blog post at The Write Practice.  Thank you Adelaide!




Today there is sun;

there is warmth and quiet,

quiet as the dead lying where they fell,

where my wife, my eldest child,

my mother lie waiting for their bodies

to be buried as their souls fly free.


Today I am not free.

My two young children, my old father

are not free.

We are burdened with hunger,

with the need to go on.


Today there is calm in the waters 

as they roll away with the debris

of lives left to wonder the fickleness

of chance, of fate

of karma

of the many gods in heaven

who chose which souls to free

and which to keep tied here

to cook the poori in this

village kitchen.


Today I think only of poori,

of the flour and water

of the heat of the oil

and the fire.


Today I think of how many

needed to feed the village now,

not so many as before,

not so many as tomorrow

as sickness claims those which

the water spared.


Today, oh, fickle gods

I would ask to be set free

but for my young children

and old father who know

nothing except the sorrow

of their emptiness and longings.


Today I would curse you, gods

but my energy is spent and my voice

is hoarse from crying. 

Today I will fry the poori because 

I am in need of this food so that

I may curse you tomorrow.