The exhibitions program at the Center for Documentary Studies presents images, documents, sound, and written experiences in four galleries that serve as a community forum for documentary work, making the documentary arts accessible to a general audience and presenting experiences that inform, heighten our historical and cultural awareness, create discourse, foster understanding, and confront traditional views of “others.”

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South Side

October 29, 2015–February 27, 2016
Thursday, October 29, 6–9 p.m.: Reception and Artist’s Talk
Juanita Kreps Gallery, Center for Documentary Studies
1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina

Artist Jon Lowenstein was awarded a solo show at CDS as part of the Lange-Taylor Prize, which he won in 2014 for South Side, his project about the Chicago neighborhood where he has lived and worked for over a decade. The $10,000 prize supports documentary artists, working alone or in teams, whose extended fieldwork projects rely on the interplay of words and images. 

His Chicago neighborhood, Lowenstein writes, is a place where “I have witnessed the systematic and ongoing de-construction and undermining of communities and the ensuing fight to maintain a semblance of order while those neighborhoods crumble in front of our eyes.” With the South Side project, he hopes to create “a lasting testimony . . . to the legacy of segregation, the impact of vast wealth inequality, and how de-industrialization and globalization play out on the ground in Chicago.”

South Side combines black-and-white photographs, video, personal narrative writing and poetry, oral histories, and the collection of found ephemera “in an effort to stitch this story together and trace the space between post-industrial meltdown and repackaged, ‘gentrified’ city.” With the award, Lowenstein will continue his fieldwork, which includes geo-tagging and mapping his photographs with Instagram (follow him @jonlowenstein), as well as continue to write and make short experimental films, in hopes of “weaving together the disparate strands” of the project to “shed light on where we are at not only in Chicago but in the United States at this vital moment in our nation’s history.”

Click here for more information on Lowenstein and South Side, including a slideshow of images and a video.

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Aunties: The Seven Summers of Alevtina and Ludmila

November 7, 2015–February 28, 2016
Thursday, November 12, 5:30–8:00 p.m.: Reception, Artist's Talk and Book Signing
Rubenstein Photography Gallery
Duke University West Campus
411 Chapel Drive, Durham, North Carolina


Nadia Sablin was chosen by renowned curator and historian Sandra S. Phillips to win the seventh biennial Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography for her series Aunties. The images document, as Sabin writes, “the lives of my aunts who live in Northwest Russia. Alevtina and Ludmila are in their seventies but carry on the traditional Russian way of life, chopping wood for heating the house, bringing water from the well, planting potatoes, and making their own clothes.” 

Sablin's Aunties: The Seven Summers of Alevtina and Ludmila, was published in November 2015 by Duke University Press and CDS Books of the Center for Documentary Studies; the book is available in bookstores and through Duke University Press.

Nadia Sablin, a native of Russia, is a freelance photographer based in Brooklyn, New York, whose work has been featured in such publications as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Moscow Times, Slate, and American Photo, among others. Her photographs have been seen in solo and group exhibitions across the U.S.

The CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography is awarded by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and the Honickman Foundation

CDS Gallery Spring Hours

Monday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Thursday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m
Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: closed

On occasion, the galleries are closed for installation, maintenance, and university scheduling considerations. Visitors might wish to call 919.660.3663 before they make a special trip to see an exhibition, to ensure that the galleries are open. 
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