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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The Self-Care Exhibit: A Word & Image Act of Self-Preservation & Political Warfare

By The Beautiful Project
March 7
–May 15, 2016
Tuesday, March 22, 
6–9 p.m.: Reception and Talk by The Beautiful Project founder/co-director Jamaica Gilmer and members of the collective
Juanita Kreps Gallery, Center for Documentary Studies
1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare. —Audre Lorde, poet, scholar, feminist, and activist

Durham, North Carolina–based nonprofit The Beautiful Project (TBP) uses photography and reflective workshops to give black girls an opportunity to confront and critique positive and negative portrayals of themselves and black women in the media and in their day to day experiences. Inspired by the writings of Audre Lorde, Team TBP initiated The Self-Care Exhibit by asking the women in their lives to share their own personal definitions of self-care. The resulting photographic portraits, quotes, and interactive reflections showcase how black women of different ages and walks of life conceptualize, practice, and struggle with self-care.

Learn more about The Beautiful Project at

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Where We Live: A North Carolina Portrait

Photographs by Alex Harris, Amanda Berg, Rachel Boillot, and Jennifer Stratton
Reception and Artists’ Talk: April 28, 4–7 p.m., Rubenstein Photography Gallery
March 5–June 26, 2016
Rubenstein Photography Gallery, Rubenstein Library, Duke University
411 Chapel Dr, Durham, NC 27705

High Resolution Photo Gallery

In the fall of 1971, under the auspices of the new Public Policy program at Duke University, documentary photographer Alex Harris began his first assignment: to photograph substandard housing and living conditions in North Carolina. With support from the Annenberg Foundation, in 2014 the CDS cofounder, who has taught at Duke for thirty-five years, turned to three former students and recent graduates of Duke’s Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts program to tackle the same broad assignment—photographers Amanda Berg, Rachel Boillot, and Jennifer Stratton.

Where We Live: A North Carolina Portrait features Harris’s 1971–72 work and Berg, Boillot, and Stratton’s contemporary portraits of, respectively, women whose factory jobs disappeared as industries closed, migrant workers who harvest Christmas trees and pick crops, and low-income neighborhoods that habitually bear the brunt of environmental damage.

“Forty-four years separate these photographs,” writes Harris. “By exhibiting together, we hope to show some of the ways in which the State of North Carolina has changed during this period. Our different styles and approaches with a camera also hint at how the practice of documentary photography has developed. But some things remain constant. Our photographs then and now show the human dimensions of policy issues, not only connecting these issues to individual lives, but, we hope, giving a sense of our own kinship to the people portrayed.”

Where We Live is sponsored by Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies, Archive of Documentary Arts at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Forum for Scholars and Publics, Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts program, and Sanford School of Public Policy. Project funding was provided by Anne Reynolds Forsyth, the Annenberg Foundation, and the Duke Council for the Arts. All photographs will be preserved in the Archive of Documentary Arts.

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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