Color image of a group of men wearing mostly white, one of which is waving a light blue UN flag

Untitled (44UN-7925-070), Togoland (Togo), 1958

Todd Webb

Archival pigment print

Courtesy of the Todd Webb Archive L2020.85.67

Not on View

In 1968, independent Togo held its first national election in which all Togolese adults held the right to vote; voter turnout was almost 65 percent. The anti-colonial party gained parliamentary representation and its head, Silvanus Olympio, was elected prime minister. Images documenting the April 27, 1958, election show crowds filling the streets and joyful men and women waving flags.

Webb described the excitement: “A day of great surprise—and rejoicing. The opposition has won a landslide Victory and now Togo is virtually free. The UN Mission is vindicated and aside from the few French here, the country is in ecstasy. The cry of Ablodé! (Freedom) rings in the streets. . . . Almost impossible to photograph. . . . I feel that I have seen history made—it was a good show.”

Image: In Copyright. Courtesy of the Todd Webb Archive

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