2010 Lange-Taylor Prize Winners: Photographer Tiana Markova-Gold and Writer Sarah Dohrmann

Announcement of 2010 Pr
2010 Winners: Tiana Markova-Gold and Sarah Dohrmann
Honorable Mention Awarded to Kitra Cahana and Chris Urquhart

The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University has awarded the twentieth Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize to photographer Tiana Markova-Gold and writer Sarah Dohrmann, both Americans. The $20,000 award is given to encourage collaboration in documentary work in the tradition of acclaimed American photographer Dorothea Lange and writer and social scientist Paul Taylor. Lange and Taylor worked together for many years, most notably on fieldwork that resulted in American Exodus (1941), a seminal work in documentary studies.

Tiana Markova-Gold and Sarah Dohrmann’s project is an investigation of women’s issues in Morocco. Dohrmann and Markova-Gold seek to dismantle negative preconceptions about women in Morocco, and women in general, by providing the people they work with an opportunity to speak for themselves while critically examining the impact of media and cultural representation upon women. With their project, they will explore the negotiation of relationships “between the woman and the society she lives in, between non-Muslim and Muslim women, between women.”

Markova-Gold and Dohrmann began working together in Morocco in October 2008. Dohrmann had been living in Morocco for over a year, where she had become friends and spent time with local women. She began writing about her interactions, as well as traveled around the country to talk to Moroccan sociologists and community leaders about issues impacting women specifically. Meanwhile, Markova-Gold had been working on an in-depth project about the lives of marginalized women in New York City since the spring of 2007. Their collaboration in Morocco began to take shape when they spent a week together with two young Moroccan women.

Globalization, with its changing labor markets, leaves women and girls particularly vulnerable. While intimate in their approach, Markova-Gold and Dohrmann hope to portray Moroccan women within a larger context of women worldwide, acknowledging Morocco’s unique position as a bridge between Europe and Africa, its role within the MENA region and Islamic society, and as a developing nation grappling with the economic impacts of globalization.

Markova-Gold and Dohrmann plan to spend three months in Morocco spending time with women from different economic levels and backgrounds. Of their collaboration, they say that together they “gain a different kind of access—one that allows for the cultivation of deep and nuanced relationships, resulting in a complex holistic story. By delving into the lives of Moroccan women, and by honestly, humbly, and unflinchingly answering to [our] roles as writer and photographer, [we] hope to reveal greater human truths about women’s empowerment and the complex nature of women’s choices.”

Tiana Markova-Gold is a freelance documentary photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program at the International Center of Photography in 2007, where she received a New York Times Scholarship. She has traveled extensively, most recently in Macedonia, Brazil, and Nigeria, documenting social issues with a particular focus on women and girls. Her photographs have been recognized by Pictures of the Year International, New York Photo Awards, PDN Photo Annual, American Photography, and the International Photography Awards. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Sasha Wolf Gallery; HOST gallery in London, England; and the Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism in Hanover, Germany. She is a 2010 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Photography.

Sarah Dohrmann was born and raised in Iowa, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She was a 2007–2008 Fulbright Fellow of the Arts in Morocco, where she lived for fifteen months, and a 2009 New York Foundation of the Arts Fellow in Nonfiction Literature. She received her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. She has been a writer-in-residence with Teachers & Writers Collaborative since 2001, and has taught writing in Special Programs at Sarah Lawrence College since 2003. Her essays, cultural criticism, and narrative nonfiction have appeared online, in print, and/or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, Bad Idea (England), Teachers & Writers, and Bad Idea: The Anthology.


An honorable mention was awarded to writer Chris Urquhart and photographer Kitra Cahana for their project “The Rainbow Kids,” an in-depth look at nomadic youth in North America. Their first encounter with these roaming children and teenagers was in 2009 at a National Rainbow Family Gathering in New Mexico. “The Gathering is home to a myriad of colorful characters and subcultures, including nudists, raw foodists, Christian missionaries, and ex-convicts,” they write. “We discovered that these ‘family functions’ also act as an important home base for many homeless children and teenagers—a place where free food, shelter, and familial support are doled out liberally, and where every outcast is accepted. Smaller gatherings are held throughout the year at different locations, and many young people make a career out of hitchhiking to all of them; they live on the streets between events.”

Kitra Cahana has worked as a photographic intern at the New York Times and at National Geographic. In 2007, she received a one-year scholarship to live in Treviso, Italy, and work at Fabrica, Benetton’s communications research center. In 2010, she was awarded first prize by World Press Photo for an Arts and Entertainment story for “Rainbowland,” a photo essay about the “Rainbow Kids” published in 2009 in Fabrica’s Colors magazine. She recently graduated from McGill University with a B.A. in philosophy and is pursuing an M.A. in visual and media anthropology from the Freie Universität in Berlin.

Chris Urquhart’s work has appeared in a number of publications, including Colors, the Santiago Times, Russian Esquire, and Adbusters. She has worked as an archaeologist for the city of Toronto, a kindergarten teacher in Chile, a lavender farmer on Vancouver Island, and a nude model for an art collective in Berlin. She is currently the editorial intern at Adbusters and is working as the executive editor of PRISM International. She is at work on a book about modern nomads in North America.

Past winners of the Lange-Taylor Prize have included Keith Carter, Donna DeCesare, Luis Rodriguez, Reagan Louie, Antonin Kratochvil, Mary Berridge, Ernesto Bazan, Silvana Paternostro, Deborah Luster, C. D. Wright, Rob Amberg, Jason Eskenazi, Jennifer Gould, Paola Ferrario, Mary Cappello, Dona Ann McAdams, Brad Kessler, Misty Keasler, Katherine Dunn, Jim Lommasson, Kent Haruf, Peter Brown, Larry Frolick, Donald Weber, Kurt Pitzer, Roger LeMoyne, Ilan Greenberg, Carolyn Drake, Christian Parenti, and Teru Kuwayama.

See: Announcement of previous prizewinners

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