Halfway between Cape Town and Johannesberg, along South Africa’s great N1 highway, lies the small town of Beaufort West. With a prison in the middle of town, on an island in the highway, it’s a surreal road stop that offers everything a traveler might want—food, gas, a place to stay, an hour of sex. Mikhael Subotzky considers the town, its vivid characters and poignant social landscapes, in a photo essay that confronts the central issues of contemporary South African society.

Mikhael Subotzky was born in Cape Town, South Africa. His project, entitled Die Vier Hoeke (The Four Corners), consisted of an in-depth study of the South African prison system and received widespread acclaim both in South Africa and internationally. His project focusing on the small Karoo Desert town of Beaufort West will be exhibited in Cape Town, Amsterdam, and Verona later this year.

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