The Contemporary World began in 1946. In the year 1946, India won its independence, the Arabi-Israeli war began, Gandhi was assassinated and the Korean War began. These are just a few events that started the Contemporary World. After World War II, much of Europe and Asia was in ruins. The postwar task was to rebuild throughout the postwar period. The United Nations tried to prevent conflicts between the nations. The Holocaust prompted a United Nation move to establish the sovereign nation of Israel as a Jewish homeland. The world of 1946 was also a point when technology really started to boom. Televisons were in the experimental process, electronic computers were being introduced, and new diseases, like AIDS, arrose to challenge medical progress. In 1957, the Soviet launch of Sputnik brought striking gains in our knowledge of outer space and led to many innovations in technology. With all of this technology on the rise, serious dangers also arose like pollution, pesticides, garabage and the depletion of the ozone layer. The postwar rise of literature in Latin America was so dramatic, that it was called the "boom." Literacy was on the rise and people had started to master more than one language.
The author of Snapshots of a Wedding is Bessie Head. Bessie Head was one of Africa's most prominent writers. She was born in south Africa in 1937. She was taken from her mother at birth, and was raised in a foster home until she was the age of thirteen. She then attended missionary school where she became a teacher. She stopped teaching after a few years and began writing for the Golden City Post. In 1964, she took a teaching position in Botswana where she remained in refuge status for fifteen years before she became a member. Bessie Head died in Botswana at a young age of forty-nine. All of her novels describe the often painful search for personal freedom, a search based closely on her own experience. The protagonists are both black and white in her book. They are also caught up in the conflict between traditional customs and modern ways.
The story Snapshots of a Wedding was published in 1977 in The Collector of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales, Bessie Head’s first collection of short fiction. The story focuses on the life in Botswana before and after independence. This story illustrated the chaos that results when traditional and modern ways collide. Bessie's story provides insights into the topic of cultural change.