First announced in 1991, the Lange-Taylor Prize has been a fundamental award of the Center for Documentary Studies since our beginnings. Named for the work of acclaimed photographer Dorothea Lange and writer and social scientist Paul Taylor, the prize was created to encourage collaboration between visual and written documentarians that seek to “contemplate things as they are.” Though the prize guidelines have changed greatly in 25 years through new technologies and new ambitions in the documentary form, the heart of the prize remains the same: a celebration of the resonant interplay of words and images in documentary.
In the past 25 years, 45 documentarians have received the prestigious prize for collaborative projects and the innovative use words and images in the creation and presentation of their work. Prizewinners are awarded $10,000, a solo exhibition at CDS, and inclusion in the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.
This year’s winner is Michel Hunealt for his ongoing project Post Mégantic about a town in Quebec, the site of Canada’s deadliest train disaster in 150 years. When a cargo train from North Dakota carrying 8 million liters of shale oil derailed and exploded, 50 people were killed and the town effectively destroyed. The project documents the aftermath and is a meditation on loss and mourning.
Read more about the Lange-Taylor Prize and see past prizewinning projects on our website.