Europe from war to peace - Nobel Peace Center

Nobel Peace Center


  1. Photo: Elvis Barukcic / AFP / NTB Scanpix
  2. Photo: Cedric Joubert / AP / NTB Scanpix
  3. Photo: AP / NTB Scanpix
  4. Photo: Lionel Cironneau / AP / NTB Scanpix
  5. Photo: Sara Johannesssen / Nobel Peace Center
  6. Photo: Sara Johannesssen / Nobel Peace Center
  7. Photo: Sara Johannesssen / Nobel Peace Center

Europe from war to peace

12 Dec 2012–26 Nov 2013

The stabilizing part played by the EU has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace
From the Nobel Committee’s announcement in 2012.

For the first time in history, generations of Europeans are living without fear of war in their own country. The Peace Prize Laureate Exhibition 2012 takes you from yesterday’s Europe where conflicts were settled on bloody battlefields, to present day Europe where conflicts are resolved through negotiation. It shows how the EU has contributed, and continues to contribute, to promote and secure peace, democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

Alfred Nobel was a European born in a time of major conflicts in Europe. Now, more than a hundred years since Alfred Nobel wrote his will about peace congresses, reduction of standing armies and fraternization among nations, 500 million Europeans live in peaceful coexistence within the EU.

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the EU at a time when Europe is in deep recession and social turmoil. The exhibition also shows how the EU’s own leaders, presidents Herman Van Rompuy, José Manuel Barroso and Martin Schultz, view Europe’s future. And, as a visitor to the exhibition, you are invited to share your views.

Every year, the Nobel Peace Center makes the Nobel Peace Prize laureate exhibition. From the moment in October when the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s Chair announces who is awarded the Prize, until the exhibition opens in December, a mere eight weeks go by.

The exhibition is supported by Mint of Norway.

Follow the production in our exhibition blog (in Norwegian).

Watch the exhibition opening from 11 December, where President of the EU Parliament  Martin Schulz held the opening speech:


Overview of our former Nobel Peace Prize laureate exhibitions:

The exhibition portrays the three brave heroines and Peace Prize laureates Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee from Liberia and Tawakkol Karman from Yemen. The Norwegian photographer Espen Rasmussen accompanied the Peace Prize laureates during several hectic days in November before they arrived in Oslo to receive the Peace Prize in December.

2010 Liu Xiaobo – I have No Enemies
In Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo’s defendant’s speech made on 23 December 2009, prior to him being sentenced to eleven years’ imprisonment, he stated: “I have no enemies”. These words inspired the Nobel Peace Center to create a portrait of the imprisoned peace activist. The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate exhibition told the story of Liu Xiaobo’s brave and sustained struggle for fundamental human rights in China: from participation in the Tiananmen protests of 1989 and up until Charter 08.

2009 Barack H. Obama – A Call to Action
Barack H. Obama regarded the Nobel Peace Prize as “a call to action”. This also became the title of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate exhibition. It was inspired by the connections between Alfred Nobel’s will and Obama’s visions and efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and multilateral cooperation, and a world free from nuclear weapons. The exhibition consisted of two parts: In the Entry Hall visitors were met by a series of large photo portraits of President Barack H. Obama. The photos were by photographers Callie Shell and Pete Souza, who have followed Obama closely for several years. The second part was a journey of discovery through time and space, disarmament and diplomacy. It also featured worldwide reactions to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama.

2008 Martti Ahtisaari – The Broker
During three decades, the former Finnish President has played a vital role in the peace and reconciliation work done in Namibia, Kosovo, Iraq, Northern Ireland and the Aceh Province in Indonesia. In 2008 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In this exhibition, Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen and BBC journalist Lyse Doucet gave a unique glimpse into the work of Martti Ahtisaari.

2007 Al Gore and the IPCC – Fever
The exhibition, like the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, was divided in two parts. The world renowned photographer Anton Corbijn created six portraits of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore, bringing out sides of Gore that are rarely seen: Playful and casual, surrounded by the nature he works to preserve. The exhibition also consisted of pictures and text from the article series ”A Globe in Crisis” that was featured in the Norwegian business newspaper Dagens Næringsliv. Photographer Ørjan F. Ellingvåg and journalist Frode Frøyland have covered the activity of the IPCC, The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change.

2006 Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank – A fistful of dollars
The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate exhibition was about Mohammad Yunus and Grameen Bank. Photographer Linda Næsfeldt’s pictures present a man and an institution that give poor people hope and a possibility to create a dignified life for themselves.

2005  – Make Power, Not War
Mohamed ElBaradei considered the nuclear threat of today to be greater than ever before. IAEA controls over 900 facilities for nuclear power in 71 countries in order to prevent dissemination of nuclear weapons. At the same time, IAEA promotes civilian use of nuclear power and related technology. The exhibit highlighted this controversial double role.