brent lewin – body collectors

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Brent Lewin

Body Collectors

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The Por Tek Tung Foundation is Bangkok’s largest provider of emergency medical services (EMS) and is made up mainly of volunteers who have regular jobs during the day but moonlight as rescue workers.  In a city where hospital ambulances are few and often stuck in traffic, the Foundation is widely recognized by doctors for its efficiency.

Por Tek Tung was started by Chinese immigrants in the last century and started out by providing free funeral services to the poor. Since then, the Foundation has grown into a large organization run through a temple and mostly responds to accidents on the dangerous streets of Thailand’s capital.

Their main function is rushing victims to hospitals and transporting dead bodies to police morgues. The Foundation provides their services free of charge, relying entirely on donations to their affiliated temple from the community. Although it employs 30 loosely trained EMS workers, the Foundation has over 1000 volunteers who patrol the streets each night on the lookout for accidents.


Brent Lewin is a documentary photographer that splits his time between Toronto and Bangkok. His work mainly focuses on the plight of the Asian elephant in Thailand and has been awarded from Pictures of the Year International, Photo District News, the International Photo Awards and Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3). Brent’s work has been featured in National Geographic, GEO and American Photo among others. Brent is represented by Redux Pictures.


(editor’s note: Brent has elected to take the “no comments” under the essay option afforded to all who are published here on Burn…many thanks for respecting his wishes….our Dialogue section is of course open…dah)

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Brent Lewin


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