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Lange-Taylor Prize

Academic journal article Afterimage

Lange-Taylor Prize

Article excerpt

The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University has announced the winners of this year's Lange-Taylor Prize. The tenth annual $10,000 award, intended to encourage collaboration in documentary work in the tradition of American photographer Dorothea Lange and writer and social scientist Paul Taylor, will be given to photographer Deborah Luster and poet and essayist C. D. Wright.

In their project "One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana," Luster and Wright will document inmates of Louisiana prisons. Luster, as she has been doing since 1988, will collaborate with inmates to photograph them with tools, objects of their own making and messages of their own choosing. Wright's text will record their voices and examine the historical and political contexts of the prison system in the United States. Each inmate receives a wallet-sized copy of each shot Luster takes. These prints, often sent home or traded with other inmates, allow prisoners to see themselves undistorted as they usually seem in the prison-approved stainless steel mirrors. Luster has already photographed more than 700 inmates in three Louisiana prisons and given them some 10,000 prints.

Luster, who resides in Monroe, LA, where she is co-director of The Folklife Project, has exhibited her photographs in New York City, Chicago, Kansas City and across the South. …

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