Special exhibition

ICONIC - Defending press freedom and democracy since 1955

13 July 2022 to  15 January 2023
European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium

The World Press Photo Foundation and the European Parliament present a selection of photographs, awarded World Press Photo of the Year from 1955 to 2022, that captured some of the most defining moments in recent history.

The collection, including Charlie Cole’s picture of Tiananmen Square and John Moore's image of Honduran toddler Yanela Sanchez, highlights issues such as the hope and resilience of protesters, migration, resistance against racism, or the human cost of conflict, and shows how important photojournalism is in shaping our collective memory and creating mutual understanding. Major world events in the years the photographs were taken are outlined to provide context and invite the viewer to reflect on the past, present, and future.

Visual stories, documented by multiple voices, play an important role in understanding the world's most significant issues. Press freedom, a foundation of democratic societies, enabled these visual stories to be published. Yet, in many parts of the world, this right is oppressed or under threat and cannot be taken for granted. Supporting the conditions for press freedom is a fundamental part of the World Press Photo Foundation's and the European Parliament's work.

Event location

Esplanade Solidarność 1980
B-1050 Brussels

Visiting hours

Monday to Friday: 09.00 - 17.30
Saturday and Sunday: 10.00 - 17.30


Free admission

Organization details

European Parliament

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The photographers included in this exhibition are: 

  • Mogens von Haven, Denmark: 1955
  • Douglas Martin, United States, The Charlotte News/The Associated Press: 1957
  • Co Rentmeester, The Netherlands, Life: 1967
  • Hanns-Jörg Anders, Germany: 1969
  • Nick Ut, Vietnam/United States, The Associated Press: 1972
  • Alon Reiniger, United States/Israel, Contact Press Images: 1986
  • Charlie Cole, United States, Newsweek: 1989
  • Dayna Smith, United States, The Washington Post: 1998
  • Lara Jo Regan, United States, Life: 2000
  • Tim Hetherington, United Kingdom, Vanity Fair: 2007
  • Pietro Masturzo, Italy: 2009
  • Jodi Bieber, South Africa, Institute for Artist Management / Goodman Gallery for Time magazine: 2010
  • John Stanmeyer, United States, VII for National Geographic: 2013
  • Mads Nissen, Denmark, Berlingske/Scanpix: 2014
  • Warren Richardson, Australia: 2015
  • John Moore, United States, Getty Images: 2018
  • Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, AFP: 2019
  • Mads Nissen, Denmark, Politiken/Panos Pictures: 2020
  • Amber Bracken, Canada, The New York Times: 2021

Images credits (top to bottom, left to right): Charlie Cole, Newsweek; Douglas Martin, The Charlotte News / The Associated Press; John Moore, Getty Images; Eric Vidal, European Union 2022; Hanneke Meijers.