Creative Work

October 20, 2020

Karoo Sanatorium: a speculative fiction based on many true stories’

Beth Vale

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.

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Beth Vale C

About Beth Vale

Beth Vale is an academic, writer, and creator working at the intersections of society and the body. She is currently working on a piece of creative non-fiction that tells the recent history of South Africa’s desert heartland through stories of chronic illness. When she’s not at her computer, Beth is blasting dancehall, collaging, or going in search of the majestic Nguni cow.