Yan Morvan was born in Paris in 1954. After studying mathematics and then cinema he made photo documentaries on Hell’s Angels in Paris, and prostitutes in Bangkok. In 1974 the newspaper daily ‘Liberation’ published his work for the first time. He collaborated with ‘Liberation’ until 1976, then with the photo agency ‘Norma’. In the same year he published his first book ‘Le Cuir et le Baston’, and continued this series on biker gangs for some twenty years. He later joined ‘Paris Match, followed by ‘Figaro Magazine’ until 1980.
From 1980 until 1988 he worked with Sipa agency and became the permanent correspondant for the American weekly ‘Newsweek’, covering the principal conflicts worldwide : Iran-Irak, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, the Philippines, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Rwanda, Kosovo…..and also the wedding of Princess Diana. A freelance photographer since 1988, Yan Morvan is considered one the world’s leading war photographers and he collaborates regularly with international publications. His war journalism has won him the Robert Capa Prize (for reports from Lenanon in 1983), two prizes from World Press Photo and numerous awards from American photo journalism schools.
Sharing his fame and experience with young photographers, Yan Morvan has taught at the National Photography School in Arles (ENSP) and the School for Journalism (CFJ) In 2000 his portraits of young victims of road accidents , commissioned by FNAC (National Collection for Contemporary Art) was exhibited at the international photojournalism festival, ‘Visa Pour l ‘Image’. Since 2004 his subject matter has often focused on disenfranchised suburbs, and war or road victims
Yan Morvan is currently considered one of the great photojournalists of France. His numerous scoops has earned him not only international acclaim and celebrity but also heavy penalties : in Lebanon, for instance, he has twice been condemned to death, and twice made a miraculous escape. His work for ‘Liberation’ and ‘Paris Match’ on gang warfare led to him being taken hostage and tortured by the serial killer Guy Georges.