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South African photographer Mikhael Subotzky has been awarded the 2008 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography. Subotzky received the grant, worth $30,000, for his project “Crime, Punishment and Security in Post-Apartheid South Africa.”
Subotzky is on a meteoric rise through the photographic world. Last spring the 27-year-old was awarded the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award as young photographer of the year. Aperture has published his work, and he was named one of American Photo’s “Emerging Artists” in 2007.
Born in Cape Town, Subotzky began photographing South Africa’s prisons while still a college student. His images explore issues of prison living conditions (above, a prisoner sleeps in a washing machine), but also reflect on the issue of violence in South Africa. According to Subozky, more than 50 people are murdered each day in South Africa. He says he will use the grant money to expand his project.
The Smith organization also granted two $2,500 fellowships. U.S. photographer Stephanie Sinclair received a fellowship for her project “The Bride Price: The Consequences of Child Marriage Worldwide.” Chinese photographer Lu Guang received a fellowship for a project on pollution in China.–David Schonauer