Hope over fear - Nobel Peace Center - Nobel Peace Center

Nobel Peace Center


  1. Photo: Johannes Granseth / Nobel Peace Center
  2. Photo: Johannes Granseth / Nobel Peace Center
  3. Photo: Mads Nissen / Politiken for the Nobel Peace Center
  4. Photo: Mads Nissen / Politiken for the Nobel Peace Center
  5. Photo: Mads Nissen / Politiken for the Nobel Peace Center

Hope over fear

12 Dec 2016–26 Nov 2017

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize exhibition is a strong portrait of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Colombian people. On commission for the Nobel Peace Center, Danish star photographer Mads Nissen and journalist Dorrit Saietz traveled around Colombia in the weeks following the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize. By using a camera and a pen, they created an intimate and powerful portrait of the Colombian people, tired of war and violence, longing for peace but also building it day by day.

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize Exhibition has a tremendous power. Nissen’s photos express both a strong will for peace and the courage to do what it takes for the process to succeed.

– Executive Director Liv Tørres at the Nobel Peace Center.

The Nobel Peace Center’s team met deminers who are working side by side with FARC soldiers to clear areas for landmines. They met coca pickers, who earn twice as much picking coca as picking coffee. And they have been to the FARC camp El Diamante, where approximately 400 of the remaining 7-8000 FARC members are living. They are preparing for the transition to civilian life, waiting to be transferred to the transition camps where they will hand over their weapons.

Two-year-old Sara Manuela, photographed while taking a nap, represents a promise of peace. Having children in a FARC camp is usually not allowed. But her parents took the risk. If the peace process fails, she will be handed over to her grandmother.

In the course of three short weeks, I’ve tried to get all over Colombia. From the rain forest to the mountains. From the presidential palace to the slums. Everywhere, I met people who longed for peace, progress and social justice. This makes me optimistic.

– Mads Nissen.

In the exhibition we also meet the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, President Juan Manuel Santos, during the hectic weeks before the new peace treaty was signed in Colombia. In a video interview for the exhibition, he states:

Making war is easy, but making peace is much more difficult. I would not have forgiven myself if, at the end of my life, I thought that I had the opportunity to bring peace to my people, and I didn’t take it.


Hope over Fear is the twelfth consequential Nobel Peace Prize Exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center. The exhibition is made in two hectic months, from the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate in October, until the exhibition is opened by the laureate on December 11th.

Exhibition design by Christine Lohre.

The exhibition is supported by Oslo kommune, Samlerhuset and LO.



2015 The Tunisian Method
This exhibition tells the story of Tunisia after the Arab Spring, about the road from chaos and mass protests to a new constitution and free elections. It’s about a cooperation, a country and its people.  In its announcement of the Peace Prize to the National Dialogue Quartet, the Norwegian Nobel Committee emphasized that the Prize also intended as an “encouragement to the Tunisian people who”.

2014 Malala and Kailash
The exhibition tells the story of Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi’s unstoppable fight for children’s rights. Both Peace Prize laureates took active part in shaping the exhibition. Malala recorded a personal video message, and honouring her own wish, the school uniform she wore when she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in October 2012, was part of the exhibition. Kailash Satyarthi took Lynsey Addario along on raids to liberate child labourers, and to various centres where the children are offered a new and better life. In an in-depth interview with the BBC’s chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet, he talks about activism, setbacks and the importance of a secure childhood.

2013 OPCW – Combating Chemical Weapons
In the ninth consecutive Nobel Peace Prize Exhibiton, the audience for the first time gets to experience how the OPCW inspectors monitor, identify and destroy chemical weapons. Photographer was the world renowned Paolo Pellegrin from the photo agency Magnum Photos. With American war correspondent and writer Scott Anderson’s short texts, the graphic and strong black and white images provide a rare insight into the daily lives of the weapon inspectors.

2012 EU – Europe from War to Peace
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.

The exhibition portrayed the three brave heroines and 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 in creating 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. The exhibition was inspired by the connections between Alfred Nobel’s will and Obama’s visions and efforts to strenghten international diplomacy and multilateral cooperation, and a world free from nuclear weapons. The exhibition consisted of two parts: a series of large photo portraits of President Barack H. Obama by photographers Callie Shell and Pete Souza. The second part told the story of Nobel’s will and Obama’s work for fraternity between nations, with books and images, texts and films, and interactive games. The exhibition also featured 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 glimpse into the work of Martti Ahtisaari.

2007 Al Gore and the IPCC – Fever
The exhibition, like the Peace Prize, was divided in two parts. The world renowned photographer Anton Corbijn showed 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. Pictures and text from the article series ”A Globe in Crisis”, featured in the Norwegian business newspaper Dagens Næringsliv also were part of the exhibition. Photographer Ørjan F. Ellingvåg and journalist Frode Frøyland covered the activity of the IPCC, The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change.

2006 A Fistful of Dollars
The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate exhibition focused on the work of Muhammad Yunus and The Grameen Bank. Photographer Linda Næsfeldt’s striking pictures presented 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 considers 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 exhibition highlighted this controversial double role.