Untitled (44UN-7890-241), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) or Southern Rhodesia (Zambabwe), 1958
Archival pigment print
Courtesy of the Todd Webb Archive L2020.85.41
Not on View
In this photograph, the Zambezi River basin is carved up and into, an example of environmental and ecological destruction pursued in the name of discovery and progress. Photographing the Kariba Dam project, which opened in 1960 and was originally owned by the Central African Power Corporation, Webb points his camera downward, at a sprawling worksite littered with trucks, water barrels, turbines, scaffolding, machinery, and people. His visualization of a place reshaped to generate hydropower for the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi) might appear benign, but the site created a humanitarian crisis; more than 57,000 Tonga people were dispossessed and displaced to gain control of the land and its resources.
Image: In Copyright. Courtesy of the Todd Webb Archive