built environment

Todd Webb’s photographs explore the relationship between the natural and the human-made worlds. The environments pictured here result from colonial occupation and capitalist enterprise. Indigenous residential architecture coexists with mosques, stores, oil refineries, tents, and worker housing. Webb’s photography of the built environment illuminates the colonial effort to control African topography and resources in 1958. The horizontality of a street in Ghana and the symmetry of factory smokestacks in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) underscore the capitalist, industrial aesthetics of the Global North, a term that highlights priorities and disparities around wealth, housing, education, digital access, and other factors of developed societies of Europe and North America.