In the past year, significant events around the globe made history, shaped governments and changed peoples’ lives. Photojournalists on the scene captured these monumental moments in timeless images. Every year, World Press Photo selects the very best of these compelling pictures. Those chosen “Best Photo of the Year” are currently on exhibit at Lisbon’s Museum of Electricity until May 20.

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World Press Photo is an independent, non-profit organization based in Amsterdam. The best images of 2012 were selected by a jury of 19 internationally recognized professionals in the field of photojournalism and documentary photography. Their choice for World Press Photo 2012 winner was Spanish photographer Samuel Aranda for his portrait of a woman who embraces her son, after he has suffered the effects of tear gas.

A small selection of other winning photos appearing in the exhibition follow:

Samuel Aranda Spain world press photo 2012

World Press Photo of the Year 2011 – Samuel Aranda, Spain, for The New York Times

Sanaa, Yemen, 15 October 2011 – Fatima al-Qaws cradles her son Zayed (18), who is suffering from the effects of tear gas after participating in a street demonstration, in Sanaa, Yemen, on 15 October. Ongoing protests against the 33-year-long regime of authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh escalated that day.

 Yasuyoshi Chiba Japan world press photo 2012 lisbon

1st prize People in the News Stories – Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

“Tsunami”, Higashimatsushima, Miyagi prefecture, Japan, 3 April 2011 – On 11 March, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck 70 kilometers off the Tōhoku coast, in northeastern Japan. Chieko Matsukawa holds up her daughter’s graduation certificate, which she salvaged from the ruins of their home in Higashimatsushima.

Stephanie Sinclair USA world press photo 2012

1st prize Contemporary Issues Stories – Stephanie Sinclair, USA, VII Photo Agency for National Geographic magazine

“Child Brides”, Hajjah, Yemen, 10 June 2011 – Tahani (in pink), who was married at the age of six, and her former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, stand with their husbands outside their home in Hajjah, Yemen. At first, Tahani hid whenever she saw her husband, who was 25 when they married.

 Brent Stirton South Africa

1st prize Contemporary Issues Singles – Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images for Kyiv Post / The Sunday Times Magazine

Kryvyi Rig, Ukraine, 31 August 2011 – Maria, a drug-addicted sex worker, rests between clients in the room she rents in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine. The country has the highest incidence of HIV/Aids in Europe and, according to a UNICEF report, one in five sex workers is living with HIV. Maria says she remains HIV negative.

Alex Majoli Italy world press photo

1st prize General News Singles – Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

“Mubarak Steps Down”, Cairo, Egypt, 10 February 2011 – Demonstrators on Tahrir Square, Cairo, react to a televised speech on 10 February, in which contrary to prior expectations, Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak said he would not give up power.

Alejandro Kirchuk Argentina world press photo 2012

1st prize Daily Life Stories – Alejandro Kirchuk, Argentina

“Never Let You Go”, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 26 May 2009 – Marcos and Monica were married for 65 years and, for much of that time, lived in the same apartment in Buenos Aires. In 2007, aged 84, Monica was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Marcos looked after her himself, coping with the emotional and physical stress of being a caregiver.

For more information, visit the World Press Photo 2012 website.

Museu da Electricidade, Fundação EDP
Av. de Brasília
Central Tejo

Phone: +351 210 028 130

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 10:00 to 18:00

Entrance: Free

Feature Photo at Top: 2nd prize General News Stories – Paolo Pellegrin, Italy, Magnum Photos for Zeit Magazin
“Tsunami aftermath”, Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, Japan, 14 April 2011 –  Tsunami waves created by a massive earthquake off the northeastern shores of Japan caused wide-ranging destruction along the coast.

Click here to see World Press Photo 2013.

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