It is said that a picture can tell a thousand words, and this well known statement is no doubt appropriate for the photographs below.
The world renowned organisation called the World Press Photo is an independent, non-profit organization based in Amsterdam Netherlands, that has been able to bring together a unforgettable collection of images. The organisation was Founded in 1955 and is known for holding the world’s largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest. After the contest, the prizewinning photographs are assembled into a traveling exhibition that is visited by over a million people in 40 countries, where after a yearbook presenting all prizewinning entries is published annually in six languages.
The organisation seeks out to support professional press photography on a wide international scale, to stimulate developments in photojournalism, encourage the transfer of knowledge, help develop high professional standards in photojournalism and to promote a free and unrestricted exchange of information. The images displayed below start from 1955 to 2000, showing an extensive collection of truly moving and iconic pieces.
Warning: some images contain graphic or objectionable content.
Mogens von Haven – A competitor tumbles off his motorcycle during the Motorcross World Championship at the Volk Mølle race course.
Helmuth Pirath – A German World War II prisoner, released by the Soviet Union, is reunited with his daughter. The child had not seen her father since she was one-year-old.
Douglas Martin – Dorothy Counts, one of the first black students to enter the newly desegregated Harry Harding High School is mocked by whites on her first day of school.
Stanislav Tereba – National Football Championships between Prague and Bratislava.
Yasushi Nagao – A right-wing student in Japan assassinates Inejiro Asanuma, Socialist Party Chairman, during his speech at the Hibiya Hall.
Héctor Rondón Lovera – Priest Luis Padillo offers last rites to a loyalist soldier who is mortally wounded by a sniper during military rebellion against President Bétancourt at Puerto Cabello naval base in Venezuela.
Malcolm W. Browne – Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc sets himself ablaze in protest against the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government.
Don McCullin – A Turkish woman mourns her dead husband, a victim of the Greek-Turkish civil war.
Kyoichi Sawada – A mother and her children wade across a river to escape US bombing. The US Air Force had evacuated their village because it was suspected of being used as a base camp by the Vietcong.
Kyoichi Sawada – The body of a Vietcong soldier is dragged behind an American armored vehicle en route to a burial site after fierce fighting.
Co Rentmeester – The commander of an M48 tankgunner of the US 7th regiment in Vietnam’s ‘Iron Triangle’.
Eddie Adams – South Vietnam national police chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes a suspected Viet Cong member.
Hanns-Jörg Anders – A young Catholic wears a gasmask during clashes with British troops. People had been fleeing from teargas after a night of street fighting.
Wolfgang Peter Geller – During negotiations on the safe-conduct of a group of criminals on the run, police superintendent Gross suddenly shoots down gang leader Kurt Vicenik. The gang, who had disappeared after a bank-robbery in Cologne, re-emerged near Saarbrücken, carrying a hostage with them. A chase followed and the police and the robbers met at Baltersweiler. The two other men were captured in a wild fight. The men running away from the bullets are policemen.
Nick Ut – Phan Thi Kim Phuc (center) flees with other children after South Vietnamese planes mistakenly dropped napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians.
Orlando Lagos – Democratically elected President Salvador Allende moments away from death during military coup at Moneda presidential palace in CHile.
Ovie Carter – The Faces of Hunger. A mother comforts her child, both victims of drought.
Stanley Forman – A mother and her daughter are hurled off a collapsing fire-escape in an apartment house fire in Boston.
Françoise Demulder – Palestinian refugees in district La Quarantaine.
Leslie Hammond – Police throw tear-gas at a group of chanting residents of the Modderdam squatter camp protesting against the demolition of their homes outside Cape Town.
Sadayuki Mikami – A demonstrator is engulfed in flames of the molotov cocktail he was about to throw at the police during protests against the construction of the New Tokyo International Airport. The original Narita Airport plan was unveiled in 1966. To acquire the initial land, the government had to evict protesting landowners. Violent clashes between the opponents and authorities resulted in 13 deaths, including five police officers. The new airport opened in May 1978.
David Burnett – A Cambodian woman cradles her child while waiting for food to be distributed at a refugee camp.
Mike Wells – A starving boy and a missionary in Uganda.
Manuel Pérez Barriopedro – Lt. Col. Antonio Tejero Molina orders everyone to remain seated and be quiet after armed Guardia Civil soldiers stormed the Assembly Hall of the Spanish Parliament. Three hundred deputies and cabinet members were in session to vote upon the succession of premier Suarez. They were released next morning after having been held hostage for almost 18 hours; the coup was a failure.
Robin Moyer – The war in Lebanon: The aftermath of the massacre of Palestinians by Christian Phalangists in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
Mustafa Bozdemir – Kezban Özer (37) finds her five children buried alive after a devastating earthquake. At five o’clock in the morning she and her husband were milking the cows as their children slept. A few minutes later, 147 villages in the region were destroyed by an earthquake of magnitude 7.1 on the Richter scale; 1,336 people died.
Pablo Bartholomew – A child killed by the poisonous gas leak in the Union Carbide chemical plant disaster.
Frank Fournier – Omaira Sanchez (12) is trapped in the debris caused by the eruption of Nevado del Ruíz volcano. After sixty hours she eventually lost consciousness and died of a heart attack.
Alon Reininger – Ken Meeks’ (42) skin is marked with lesions caused by Aids-related Kaposi’s Sarcoma.
Anthony Suau – A mother clings to a riot policeman’s shield at a polling station. Her son was one of thousands of demonstrators arrested because they tried to prove that the presidential election on December 15, which was won by the government candidate, had been rigged.
David Turnley – Boris Abgarzian grieves for his 17-year-old son, victim of the Armenian earthquake.
Charlie Cole – A demonstrator confronts a line of People’s Liberation Army tanks during protests for democratic reform.
Georges Merillon – Family and neighbors mourn the death of Elshani Nashim (27), killed during a protest against the Yugoslavian government’s decision to abolish the autonomy of Kosovo.
David Turnley – US Sergeant Ken Kozakiewicz (23), gives vent to his grief as he learns that the body bag at his feet contains the remains of his friend Andy Alaniz. ‘Friendly fire’ claimed Alaniz’s life and injured Kozakiewicz. On the last day of the Gulf War they were taken away from the war zone by a MASH unit evacuation helicopter.
James Nachtwey – A mother carries her dead child to the grave, after wrapping it in a shroud according to local custom. A bad drought coupled with the effects of civil war caused a terrible famine in Somalia which claimed the lives of between one and two million people over a period of two years, more than 200 a day in the worst affected areas. The international airlift of relief supplies which started in July was hampered by heavily armed gangs of clansmen who looted food storage centers and slowed down the distribution of the supplies by aid organizations.
Larry Towell – Boys raise toy guns in a gesture of defiance. The Palestinian uprising, which began in December 1987, strengthened the Arab population in their determination to fight the occupying force. In March Israel closed its border with Gaza, causing a massive rise in unemployment. With more than 800,000 people contained in the Israeli-patrolled, eight-km-wide strip of land, bloodshed increased sharply. The peace agreement signed in Washington on September 13 promised limited authority for the Gaza Strip and a withdrawal of the Israeli army.
James Nachtwey – A Hutu man at a Red Cross hospital, his face mutilated by the Hutu ‘Interahamwe’ militia, who suspected him of sympathizing with the Tutsi rebels.
Lucian Perkins – A bus on the road leading to Grozny during fighting between Chechen independence fighters and Russian troops. The civil war which erupted when President Yeltsin sent troops to the rebellious province in December 1994 was still dragging on months later. When the Chechen fighters fled Grozny, the capital, where the war had claimed a horrendous human and material toll, Russian troops pursued them into the countryside to the south and east.
Francesco Zizola – Landmine victims in Kuito, a town where many people were killed and traumatized during the civil war.
Hocine – A woman cries outside the Zmirli Hospital, where the dead and wounded were taken after a massacre in Bentalha.
Dayna Smith – A woman is comforted by relatives and friends at the funeral of her husband. The man was a soldier with the ethnic Albanian rebels of the Kosovo Liberation Army, fighting for independence from Serbia. He had been shot the previous day while on patrol.
Claus Bjørn Larsen – A man walks the streets in one of the largest gathering points for ethnic Albanian refugees fleeing violence in Kosovo.
Lara Jo Regan – The mother of a Mexican immigrant family makes piñatas to support herself and her children. The family numbers among the millions of ‘uncounted’ Americans, people who for one reason or another have been missed by the national census and so don’t exist in population records.