south africa | mikhael subotzky | chris boot |
Beaufort West. Mikhael Subotzky (South Africa).
Photographes by Mikhael Subotzky
Essay by Jonny Steinberg
Published by Chris Boot, 2008. Edition of 3,000 copies.
Beaufort West is the first book by Mikhael Subotzky. The book opens with aerial images, - Beaufort West is a small poor rural town in South Africa. Located between Cape Town and Johannesburg, it became a transit point for travelers who can get here food, sleep, sex, gas. The place is also known fot its prison, “situated in a traffic circle in the centre of the town in the middle of the N1 highway”. Subotzky takes us through the town documenting its social landscape, marginalized residents (many of them are trashpickers, prostitutes, homeless, prisoners), their homes, surroundings. The portraits are surprisingly intimate. Beautiful pictures in contrast to miserable reality they depict.
Beaufort West is a beautiful oversized book. It has very clean design and a nice cover in a blue fabric. The essay at the end of the book is by known South African writer Jonny Steinberg. Mikhael Subotzky also provides a short commentary for each image.