Yan Morvan

Born in: 1954

France

Biography

Yan Morvan was born in Paris in 1954.

After having studied mathematics and then cinema, he took photos of the Hells Angels of Paris, and then of prostitutes in Bangkok. In 1974, he published his first photograph in the Libération. Until 1976, he worked with Liberation’s agency, Fotolib, and with the Norma agency. The same year he published his first book about rockers, leather and fights (announcing his work documenting gangs, that will last twenty years). Later, he built the team of Paris Match, and then the one of Figaro Magazine until 1980.

From 1980 to 1988, he joined the Sipa agency and became a correspondent for Newsweek, for which he traveled to war zones like Iran-Iraq, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, Philippines, the fall of the Berlin wall, Rwanda, Kosovo... And even Lady Di’s wedding. An independent photographer since 1988, recognized as one of the greatest experts of war photograph, he collaborates regularly with most major international publications.

He was awarded the Robert-Capa prize for his work in Lebanon in 1983, two World Press Photo awards and numerous prizes offered by American schools of journalism. He teaches at the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d’Arles (ENSP), and the Centre de Formation des Journalistes (CFJ). In 2000, his series of portraits of people injured in road accidents that he shot for the FNAC (Fond National d’Art Contemporain) has been on show during the international photojournalism festival Visa pour l’image. Since 2004, he shot numerous stories on his main subjects: the suburbs and the victims of war or of road accidents.

Yan Morvan is considered today one of the most important French photojournalists. His work brings him recognition and international fame, but also a lot of trouble: in Lebanon, he was sentenced to death on two occasions, and managed to escape by miracle. In France, during his time documenting gangs, he was taken hostage and tortured for three weeks by serial killer Guy Georges.

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