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Pollsmoor Prison

breda photo

While studying at the University of Cape Town, Mikhael Subotzky (South Africa, 1981) first visited the Pollsmoor Prison, infamous for its degrading conditions. Subotzky quickly familiarized himself with the prisoners. He got to know them through conversations, and gave them lessons in photography. These visits resulted in the series Die Vier Hoeke (prisoners’ slang for the four corners of a prison). In April 2005, on South African Independence Day, he exhibited this series inside the Pollsmoor Prison—a unique event, as never before had the prison been used as the location for an exhibition.

This project was followed by a more extensive investigation of the South African prison system. High crime rates characterize today’s South African society. Prisoners find themselves limited in their most fundamental rights—a sensitive issue, in a country that only recently abolished the segregation laws of the apartheid system.

The pictures can be seen at the Breda Photo 2012 festival, Breda, the Netherlands, from today until the 21st of October.
(Text: BredaPhoto; pictures: Mikhael Subotzky; overall picture: Hannie Mommers)

More information: wikipedia

 

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