ExhibitionDec 12, 2022-Nov 20, 2023

Nobody plans to give up

Person holding sunflower during a demonstration in Paris
Photo: ©William Keo / Magnum Photos

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize Exhibition highlights the role individuals and civil society play for freedom, justice and democracy.

“Nobody plans to give up.” These words were spoken by the Chair of the Board of Memorial when the organization was forcibly closed down by the Russian authorities. The Russian human rights organization Memorial shares this year's Nobel Peace Prize with Ales Bialiatski from Belarus and the Center for Civil Liberties from Ukraine.

Together they demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy. the Norwegian Nobel Committee stated.

"The Peace Prize laureates represent civil society in their home countries. They have for many years promoted the right to criticise power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens. They have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human right abuses and the abuse of power."
The Norwegian Nobel Committee, 7 October 2022
Oleksandra Matviichuk from Center for Civil Liberties, during a protest for the campaign «Prisoner’s Voice».
Oleksandra Matviichuk, Center for Civil Liberties, during a protest for the campaign «Prisoner’s Voice». Kyiv, Ukraine, July 2020. Photo: © CCL

This year's Nobel Peace Prize laureates work to defend human rights in their home countries. After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, their work has become even more difficult – and even more important. The Peace Prize Exhibition tells the story of the three laureates and their work through photos and material provided by their own organisations.

Among other things, the public can see the Center for Civil Liberties' own photographs from Ukraine and a letter Ales Bialiatski sent from prison the last time he was in political captivity, from 2011 to 2014. In the exhibition, the audience is invited to send their own postcards to Bialiatski, who is one of 1400 political prisoners in Belarus.

To emphasize the importance of civil society for democracy, the exhibition also features the photo series “Ordinary People,” which was created in collaboration with Magnum Photos. These documentary photos from civil protests in Iran, the USA, Hong Kong, and Europe are signed by famous photographers such as Nanna Heitmann, Stuart Franklin and Jérôme Sessini. One wall is dedicated to the work of the Polish artist and photographer Rafal Milach. He has documented demonstrations and protests both in Poland and neighbouring countries in recent years and uses the camera to actively influence society.

"Democracy is not something given to us for good, we have to take care of it and fight for it constantly otherwise it disappears and goes away."
Rafal Milach