What began as a quiet photography project in northeast England quickly developed into a worldwide photojournalistic commentary on the 500 year old institution of in-classroom education.
From Ethiopia to Yemen to Russia to Missouri, when we look at the classrooms featured in this wonderful photo series, we aren’t just viewing desks and chairs. We’re looking at the future.
Ethiopia, Gambella Elementary School, Gambella
Bahrain, Saar, Grade 11, Islamic
Argentina, Buenos Aires, Grade 4, Natural Science
Cuba, Escuela Primaria Angela Landa, Old Havana
Germany, Düsseldorf, Year 7, English
Bangladesh, Jessore Zilla School, Jessore
Brazil, Belo Horizonte, Series 6, Mathematics
England, Seaham, Reception and Year 1, Structured Play
Holland, Drouwenermond, Primary Year 5, 6, 7 & 8, History
Tokyo, Japan, Grade 5, Classical Japanese
United States, Beaumont High School, St Louis, Missouri
Holland, Heerenveen, Secondary Year 1, Sports Day
Nigeria, Kano, Ooron Dutse, Senior Islamic Secondary Level 2, Social Studies
Nigeria, Kuramo Junior College, Victoria Island, Lagos
Peru, Tiracanchi, Secondary Grade 2, Mathematics
Qatar, Grade 10, Religion
Russia, School No 63, Kalininsky District, St Petersburg
Saudi Arabia, Dammam, Kindergarden, Activities
Spain, Colegio de Educación Público, Estados Unidos de América Huarte de San Juan, Madrid
Taiwan, Min-sheng Junior High School, Taipei
USA, Oklahoma, Avant, Grade 4 & 5 Social Sciences
Yemen, Manakha, Primary Year 2, Science Revision
Yemen, Al Ishraq Primary, Akamat Al Me’gab
In his portraitures, Germain made sure not to tell the students how to "be" or have the classroom pre-arranged to fit a specific vision, nor did he break a school's time tables.
When asked if a particular encounter stuck out to him from the classrooms around the world he visited, Germain cited a visit at a school in Yemen. Upon arriving, Germain asked a Yemeni boy if he liked school, and the child responded with an enthusiastic, so-obvious-it's-not-even-funny "of course". Said Germain to the interviewer, "His response was just so different from that of any child from a developed country where school is routine. It's very simplistic, but in so many ways, we rich folk just don't know how lucky we are, do we?"