education

Throughout his assignment, Todd Webb sought to build a visual record of advancements in Euro-American educational systems across the nine African nations on his itinerary. Taking his camera into classrooms, agricultural settings, medical facilities, and cultural institutions, he recorded the activities of students and instructors to fortify a growing archive of images of post-colonial “progress” for the United Nations’ diplomatic publications. Though often less dramatic than his photographs of busy factories, ports, and shopping centers, these images were crucial to Webb’s photographic construction of modernization in Africa, as they revealed the social and cultural effects of industrialization. Photographs of students, classrooms, civic museums, and murals reveal Webb’s focus on education, cultural heritage sites, and public health campaigns as evidence of a “changing Africa.”