'Bulletin Boards: Prints Into Books & Films' Seminar


© Danny Lyon, Crossing the Ohio River, Louisville, 1966.

Friday June 14 + Saturday June 15, 2019 | Bowen Island, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Open to: photographers, filmmakers, photojournalists & journalists, artists, writers, teachers, media workers, etc.

For the first time, and 33 years after his March 1986 exhibition ‘Danny Lyon: Photographs and Films’ at the Presentation House, iconic photographer and indefatigable social rights activist Danny Lyon comes to Vancouver this June for an exclusive 2-day lecture event where he will share the inspiring life stories and artistic philosophy behind his hugely influential photodocumentary works & non-fiction films! Through a dynamic, multilayered format of narration using book maquettes, original audio recordings, Polaroids prints and photomontages as well as other autobiographical materials, the artist will draw out the complex historical contexts behind his renowned works and invite the audience deeper in the intimacy of their making.


Early registration is encouraged to make sure you can join Danny Lyon’s exciting in depth conversation this summer. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to learn directly from one of the most defining voices of photography today! Keep scrolling for more seminar details + to reserve your seat using our registration form.



FRIDAY, JUNE 14 | 10am – 5pm


Over the course of the first seminar day Danny will present a number of his groundbreaking photography works. Using the book format as a narrative springboard, Danny will expand each project beyond its known scope by playing original audio recordings as well as 16mm remastered footage to bring their important humanistic message into a fuller context of understanding and expression. Book edition and their making of will also be discussed in depth, especially the tensions between image and text, stills vs motion pictures, photomontages vs single photographs, as well as his extensive use of Polaroid instant imagery as an autobiographical tool throughout his career.

© Danny Lyon, Clearing Land, Ellis Unit, Texas, 1968


“Conversations with the Dead” Book (1971, Re-edited: Phaidon, 2015)
Audio of Billy McCune

16mm footage of Texas Prisons: stills vs motion pictures

‘Photographs of Prison Life with the Letters and Drawings of Billy McCune #122054’. Conversations with the Dead provides an extraordinary photographic record of life inside six Texas prisons and the relationships Lyon built with the inmates. Revolutionary at the time of publication, it was one of the first photobooks to include ephemera.

“The Bikeriders” Book (1969, Re-edited: 2003, Chronicle Books; 2014: Aperture)
Audio from the Bikeriders

First published in 1968, The Bikeriders explores firsthand the stories and characters of the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club. The journal-size title features original black-and-white photographs and transcribed interviews made from 1963 to 1967, when Danny Lyon was a member of the Outlaws gang. Authentic, personal, and uncompromising, Lyon’s depiction of individuals on the outskirts of society offers a gritty yet humanistic view that subverts the commercialized image of Americana. Akin to the documentary style of 1960s-era New Journalism, made famous by writers such as Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, and Tom Wolfe, Lyon’s work demonstrates humanitarian interests, advocacy, and “saturation reporting.” The importance of his work and our interest in the subject is reinforced by Lyon’s immersion in his subject.

“I like to Eat Right on the Dirt” Book (1989, Bleak Beauty Books)
Using Polaroids in Books
The maquette, Polaroid Magazine

This conceptual book is a personal project combining photographs Lyon’s ancestors in czarist Russia and pre-World II Germany with images of his children.

“Knave of Hearts”, Book (1999, Twin Palm Publishers)
Maquette, writing for pictures

Knave of Hearts is a visual memoir in which Danny Lyon recounts his adventures as a photographer. It is illustrated with his color photo-montages and unpublished pictures from his three classic photodocumentary works: The BikeridersConversations with the Dead, and The Destruction of Lower Manhattan. The autobiographical text tells his family’s history, beginning with the 1905 revolution in Russia, and covers the unrest of 1960s America and the social radicalism of New Mexico in the 1970s. In words and photographs Lyon memorializes the friends, family, and adventures of his life.

Bushwick: “Let Them Kill Themselves” (1996, Le Point Du Jour Editeur)
Maquette and audio of Carlos Ferreira

“Bushwick” is a moving collaboration combining Danny Lyon’s photographs of this gritty Brooklyn neighborhood and its youthful inhabitants along with Carlos Ferreira’s poignant text about their harrowing daily existence.

© Danny Lyon, Self-portrait, Chicago, 1965

* Please note: the outlined content program details for both days provided by the artist is subject to change without notice. The artist may bring in additional materials or/and choose not to cover part of it for any reason.

SATURDAY, JUNE 15 | 10am – 5pm


After his ground breaking work as a photojournalist in the 1960’s, Danny Lyon turned to films, making a series of non-fiction films in the 1970’s and 1980’s. With the recent recognition of the 2016 Message To The Future de Young/Whitney retrospective, funds were provided to preserve these remarkable 16mm films. High resolution digital scans were made from the original A&B negative rolls under the close supervision of the artist. In a reversal approach for this second seminar day Danny will show some of his most personal movies along with rarely seen historical footage he shot during the Civil Rights Movement era. By interplaying his movies with both recent interviews and contemporaneous photographs, Danny will invoke a fluid and powerful narration to take shape challenging media juxtaposition vs emotional integration and embarking us on a new, dynamic understanding of time, past, present and future.

© Danny Lyon, Powwow (New Mexico, South Dakota, and Arizona), 1997. SX-70 Polaroids



“Born to film” Movie (1982), New York & Mexico, Black & White, 33 min.

A young boy emerges from the filmic history of his past. “’Born to Film‘ is, among other things, intimately autobiographical, interspersing footage of Lyon’s own young son with film shot in the 1930’s by Lyon’s father, a doctor who immigrated from Germany. Lyon’s passionate vision has deepened an grown in resonance and the film is not just family or even social history, but about human continuity, the power of instinct to survive, the grace to love and play bring to it, the wonder of being alive.” Thomas Albright, San Francisco Chronicle

“Two Fathers” Movie (2005), New York, 30 min., 27 years later

The child star of Born to Film, Raphael, is now a twenty-seven year old who returns to his father’s farm to plant corn and experience fatherhood. Intercut is a film that takes place in the world of Germany in the 1920’s, and Queens, of the 1940’s, as Dr. Ernst Lyon’s remarkable album photographs bring to life worlds long gone. Time is collapsed. Two Fathers is a filmic meditation on life, age, family and death.

The Leesburg Stockade (DV)

The Leesburg Stockade was an event in the civil rights movement in which a group of 35 African-American teenage and pre-teen girls were arrested in July 1963 during a protest march against racial segregation organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) organizations in Americus, Georgia. They were imprisoned for 45 days in poor conditions in the Lee County Public Works building (aka the Leesburg Stockade), in Leesburg, Georgia. After the SNCC and Senator Harrison A. Williams used a set of photos by Danny Lyon to publicize the situation the young women were released.

John Lewis, a work in progress
DV of Julian Bond and John Lewis

John Lewis and Lyon first met in the early 1960s, when the Congressman was serving as chairman of the SNCC and Lyon was the organization’s first official photographer. Lewis has served as the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s fifth congressional district since 1987. In conjunction with the exhibition Danny Lyon: Message to the Future, the Whitney hosted a conversation between Congressman John Lewis and artist Danny Lyon on July 15, 2016

After Lyon joined SNCC in 1963, he met Julian Bond, then a 20-year-old student at the University of Chicago and the Communications Director of SNCC and future Legislator and leader of the NAACP.  In a 2014 filmed reflection, the two men had a conversation about the Movement. The 30-minute piece, One Man One Vote: Danny Lyon in conversation with Julian Bond, explores Civil Rights from the 60s to today and provides commentary on contemporary questions of freedom and insight into the ways in which the young leaders galvanized to codify freedom for all.


The Story of Sam (2016, Bleak Beauty Books)

Based on Kafka’s “Report to the Academy” The Story of Sam was written by an Australian Shepard that lived his life in the Hudson Valley of New York State, but died at the edge of a highway in Sandoval County, New Mexico. Heavily illustrated with SX 70’s, Polaroid’s and Album photos of Sam and Lily, his Brittany Spaniel confidant, Sam’s ability to write was so highly regarded that he was posthumously voted into the Academy of Arts and Sciences. The site of his death along highway 528 has long been considered a shrine for lovers of dogs and photo-literature.

“Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement” Book (2010, Twin Palm Publishers)

In the summer of 1962, Danny Lyon packed a Nikon Reflex and an old Leica in an army bag and hitchhiked south. Within a week he was in jail, looking through the bars at another prisoner, Martin Luther King, Jr. Lyon soon became the first staff photographer for the Atlanta-based Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which already had a reputation as one of the most committed and confrontational groups fighting for civil rights. The photographs and text in this book capture the story of one of the most inspiring periods in America’s twentieth century.


Danny Lyon is a photo-journalist, writer and filmmaker. He has long been considered one of the most original and influential documentary photographers and has produced numerous highly collectible photobooks, mounted solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, and won two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Fellowship, and ten National Endowment for the Arts awards. Lyon divides his time between New York State and New Mexico.

Among his many books are  The Bikeriders, Conversations with the Dead, and Knave of Hearts. Daniel Joseph Lyon was born in Brooklyn , New York on March 16, 1942. Roosevelt was President. World War Two was on going in Europe, Africa and Asia. Segregation was the law of the land in 13 southern states. Native Americans were not allowed to purchase alcohol in New Mexico. Most blacks could not or did not vote in the deep  south. Lyon attended NYC public schools in Kew Gardens and Forest Hills, Queens, and in 1959 bought his first camera, an Exa SLR in Munich, Germany during a summer trip, then entered the University of Chicago, where he eventually majored in philosophy and ancient history. In 1963 he became  The Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) first photographer . Danny Lyon’s photographs are in Museums and collections through out the world. His most recent one man show was at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. He regularly shows at Gavin Brown Enterprises and Terry Etherton.

IG: @dannylyonphotos
Magic Hour Podcast with Jordan Weitzman (June 2018)


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$895USD (Regular)
$795USD (Students, past FotoFilmic entrants & workshop participants, Bowen Island residents)

All registrations and tuition payments must be received by Feb 28, 2019


A deposit of $250 is due at time of registration. The full remaining payment will be due by February 28, 2019. Registrations are accepted on a first-come first served basis. Space is limited: early registrations encouraged.


The Bowen Island Lodge
380 Cardena St, Bowen Island, BC, V0N 1G2
Friday June 14 and Saturday June 15, 10:00-5:00pm


Travel to and from Vancouver/Bowen Island is not included. Detailed directions + traveling tips are however provided upon registration.

Coffee, tea and small snacks are provided every morning.

Accommodations are not included but FotoFilmic is happy to arrange booking a room on your behalf at the Bowen Island Lodge (same venue as the seminar’s). Prices range from $68 USD per night for a shared room and up to $200USD for a private cottage. Availability for the weekend is limited and here too reservations will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis.


Withdrawal/cancelation notices must be submitted before April 15, 2019 at the latest to receive a refund. Please note a  $250 USD cancelation fee is retained on deposits. Any cancelation request received past April 15 will not be refunded. In the event the seminar is not meeting minimum enrolment and needs to be canceled your deposit will be refunded in full (no cancelation fee retained). Please also note FotoFilmic will not be responsible for refunding traveling expenses in case this seminar gets canceled for any reason. Purchasing travel insurance is therefore recommended.


For any inquiries, please contact FotoFilmic Co-Director Bastien Desfriches Doria at







Bowen Island has long been known since the early 1900’s as Vancouver’s gate-away to nature taking Vancouverites far from the city yet being so close and easily accessible. Still a popular one-day destination today, Bowen Island sits less than 2 miles to the mainland coast at its closest point making for a short 20mn taxi boat ride from downtown Vancouver, and an even shorter 15mn ferryboat crossing from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. The island itself is about 3.5 miles wide by 7.5 miles long and is being called home by up to 3,400 residents at the peak of the summer. Famously, there are no camping grounds, hotels or developed resorts on the island, a testimony to the strong independent mind of its widely artistic/creative community that forces most visitors to vacate of the end of the day. This has helped preserve a sense of authenticity and simplicity living on the island, enjoying its natural beaches and small village life less than an hour away from Vancouver’s bustling urban culture. “The Cove” where BC ferryboats dock almost every hour of the day serves as its main shopping and dining district featuring a marina with half a dozen fine restaurants, a few coffee places, a local pub and general store, several boutique stores, and about half a mile further up an “Artisan Square” with art and craft galleries, a gym and more.

More info at: