In Morocco, a majority Islamic nation, premarital virginity is considered sacred. Writer Sarah Dohrmann spent fifteen months there beginning in 2007, conducting interviews with female prostitutes and, in 2008, was joined by photographer Tiana Markova-Gold.
They worked together for a week, focusing their investigations on two young prostitutes and on prostitution in local cafès and clubs.Based on their work, the two have received the twentieth annual Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize, a $20,000 award given by the Center for Documentary Studies to encourage collaboration in documentary work in the tradition of American photographer Dorothea Lange and writer and social scientist Paul Taylor.Dohrmann and Markova-Gold are both based in Brooklyn, New York. Dohrmann conducted her original research in Morocco as a Fulbright Fellow of the Arts. Markova-Gold is a freelance documentary photographer who recently traveled to Macedonia, Brazil, and Nigeria, documenting social issues with a particular focus on women and girls.The two women will use the prize to expand their collaboration; they plan to spend an additional three months in Morocco on a project that continues their work on prostitution.