Mikhael Subotzky has been awarded the highly acclaimed Leica Oskar Barnack Award for his Beaufort West essay.
‘An international jury is involved in the selection process’ (Selected by an international jury), the prize is awarded to a photographer who has the ability to capture and express the relationship between man and environment without being obtrusive while maintaining a poignant and strong vision throughout the series. South African photographer Mikhael Subotzky was born in Cape Town in 1981, and achieved both international and South African acclaim for his final year project entitled Die Vier Hoeke – which consisted of an intricate study of the South African prison system. In 2007 Subotzky went on to photograph the town of Beaufort West, an area notoriously associated with violent crime and alcoholism. Exhibited as a solo show at Goodman Gallery Cape in August 2007, the series was then shown at MOMA, New York as part of their New Photography 2008 programme. While documentary photography has influenced the way in which Subotzky works, he has moved away from the somewhat rigid role of documentation. His work shows a sensitive engagement with his subjects, and his images serve to inform and allow for a questioning of meaning.