I am a conceptual documentary artist who returned to visual expression in 2014 after a 12-year career as a wrongful conviction lawyer. My values as an advocate and trained mediator, as well as my background representing innocent DNA exonerees, inform my visual work, which examines American power and identity in the post-9/11 era. My series marry empathy and dark humor with structural critique.
While completing a Bachelor's degree in Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, I studied photography at RISD. After working for photographers Mary Ellen Mark and Sylvia Plachy, as an AP stringer, and as an investigator for the federal public defender's office, I attended Harvard Law School and practiced for more than a decade as a civil rights attorney.
Since 2016, I have been honored as a Baum Award for an Emerging American Photographer nominee, and as a recipient of Duke University's Archive of Documentary Arts Collection Award for Women Documentarians, the Lianzhou (China) Foto Festival Punctum Award, the inaugural Fotofest Charles Jing Fellowship, a Harpo Foundation Visual Artist Grant, and a 2017-19 Center for Emerging Visual Artists Fellowship.
My first book, Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo Bay (Radius, 2017), is a 2018 ICP Infinity Award nominee, shortlisted for the 2017 Paris Photo-Aperture First PhotoBook Prize and the 2017 Les Rencontres de la Photographie d'Arles Photo-Text Book Award, and named among the year's 10 best photo books by the New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Mother Jones, 1000 Words Magazine, and others. I have lectured and exhibited in France, Switzerland, Germany, England, Lebanon, China, South Korea, at UN Headquarters, New York's Steven Kasher Gallery, and across the U.S.
Subscribe to my mailing list here. If you would like to exhibit or acquire my work or invite me to speak or collaborate, please email me at email@example.com. Follow me @debicornwall (IG/Twitter) and @debicornwallphoto (FB).