Die Vier Hoeke: The Four Corners • Mikhael Subotzky • Magnum Photos

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Die Vier Hoeke: The Four Corners

Mikhael Subotzky offers a detailed look inside South African prisons as he documents the lives of a community often forgotten by society

Mikhael Subotzky

Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Exercise yard, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2005. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Inmates in cell in Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2005. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Prisoners perform 'pasvang', Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Exercise yard, Voorberg Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Marc, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Court Cell, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Prisoners practice traditional 'klopse' dance outside Voorberg Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Matchstick boat, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Prisoner climbs up to window to buy contraband, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Non-contact visiting center, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Group of inmates ride in the back of truck near Voorberg Prison. Porterville, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Prisoners are strip-searched as they enter Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Man on phone in Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Jonny Fortune baths in the industrial washer in the laundry at Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. He prefers this to the communal showers. Cape Town, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Exercise, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky | Die Vier Hoeke Communal shower, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. Cape Town, South Africa. 2004. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos

“The prison, that darkest region in the apparatus of justice, is the place where the power to punish, which no longer dares to manifest itself openly, silently organizes a field of objectivity in which punishment will be able to function openly as treatment and the sentence be inscribed among the discourses of knowledge.”
– Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison

“In the light of our history where denial of the right to vote was used to entrench white supremacy and to marginalize the great majority of the people of our country, it is for us a precious right which must be vigilantly respected and protected.”
– Chief Justice Chaskalson (from the majority judgment in the Constitutional Court case, Minister of Home Affairs vs NICRO and others, 2004 – a case which ultimately re-affirmed the rights of prisoners to vote in South Africa)

“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”
– Nelson Mandela