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  • Beth Vale

Karoo Sanatorium

A speculative fiction based on many true stories.


Abstract: In the early decades of the 1900’s, with tuberculosis having taken hold in many European cities,  Karoo sanatoriums were emerging as prime healing destinations for ‘consumptive immigrants.’  Now, almost a century later, the Karoo continues to be marketed as a reprieve from the pathogens of city life. In the past few months, articles have circulated positioning the Karoo as a perfect ‘low-viral’ escape. Inspired by field and archival research from the Eastern Cape Karoo, this dystopian fiction imagines the contemporary re-opening of a Karoo sanatorium, and the everyday politics in which such a project might be enmeshed.


This piece of video art was presented as part of the Breath Symposium, hosted by Medical Health Humanities Africa in collaboration with WISER, Wits and UCT.


The full video can be viewed here.






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