Conceptual documentarian, filmmaker, and former civil-rights lawyer, Debi Cornwall is no stranger to questioning the role of truth in images and the power of using fiction to illuminate truth through narrative storytelling. Through her projects, Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo Bay and Necessary Fictions, Cornwall often employs deep investigative tactics to present facts that are concealed or expressed within state-created fictions, culminating in deeply immersive projects that question more than just the reality of the viewer. Join us for the next session in ICP Lessons, hosted by David Campany, for a three-day lecture series highlighting Debi Cornwall’s approach to using fiction to address real world issues and introducing key concepts and methods for applying to your own photographic practice—whether documentary, fine-art, or multimedia—which will be the focus of her upcoming ICP course, Necessary Fictions.


Tickets are $35 for general audience and $30 for ICP members—join today!

Tickets include access to all three lectures and must be purchased by the start time of the first lecture in the series. We make every effort to record each session and make available to participants up to 14 days after the series, however recordings are not guaranteed.

Members, login or use your discount code to receive your discount. If you have issues processing your payment, please email [email protected]

Please note: We make every effort to record each session and make it available to participants up to 14 days after the series, however recordings are not guaranteed. We recommend participants to tune in live if there is a session they don’t want to miss. No refunds will be given for missed lectures


Session 1: Wednesday, February 17, 1–2 PM ET
Welcome to Camp America: Debi Cornwall introduces her practice and visual strategy for documenting invisible systems.

Session 2: Thursday, February 18, 1–2 PM ET
Through Necessary Fictions: Cornwall discusses the role of constructed fictions to tell truths through her ongoing multimedia project, Necessary Fictions

Session 3:  Friday, February 19, 1–2 PM ET
From concept to the classroom: With examples selected from multiple genres of visual practice, Cornwall sets a foundation for thinking about how to use fictions to illuminate truths ahead of her ICP Course: Necessary Fictions.

Interested in learning more from Debi Cornwall on Necessary Fictions? Registration is now open for her ICP course, Necessary Fictions. Learn more about ICP’s courses and workshops.

Please note: we strive to record all sessions to a recording make available to participants for up to 14 days after the program, but technical issues do happen. Recordings are not guaranteed for each session. We recommend participants to tune in live if there is a session they don’t want to miss.

About the Program Format

This program will take place on Zoom. Those who register to attend will receive a confirmation email with a link located at the bottom of the email under ‘Important Information’ to join the lecture through a computer or mobile device. 

We recommend participants download the Zoom app on their device prior to the program. Learn how to download the latest version of Zoom to your computer or mobile device.

If you do not receive the link by 11 AM on the day of the lecture or if you have questions about the virtual lecture, please contact: [email protected].


Debi Cornwall is a conceptual documentary artist who returned to visual expression in 2014 after a 12-year career as a civil-rights lawyer. Marrying dark humor with structural critique, she employs photographs, video, testimony, and archival materials to examine American state-created realities. A Deutsche Börse Prize nominee, Debi has been honored with a NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship in Photography, a Leica Women Foto Award, and shortlists for the W. Eugene Smith Fund Grant and the Tim Hetherington Trust Visionary Award. Her two photo books, Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo Bay (Radius Books, 2017), and Necessary Fictions (Radius Books, 2020), are internationally acclaimed.

David Campany is ICP’s managing director of programs, and a writer, editor, and curator.

About the Series

ICP Lessons is an online lecture series offering an introduction into ICP’s Continuing Education offerings. Each session is organized around a central theme within photographic practice, offering insights and skills through conversations and instructional lectures by ICP faculty, scholars, and leading photographic voices around the globe.


Image: Debi Cornwall