Pictures that Changed the World

berlin wall

BERLIN—A young man bridges the wall between East and West Berlin, 1989. © Raymond Depardon

Slate magazine has a collection of Magnum photos which changed the world. Mostly doused in black and white gradients, these pictures feature significant historical incidents. Some of them, like the picture of the girl who grew up in a concentration camp are remarkably powerful reflections on our actions.

Here are some of my favorites:

Spanish Civil War

CERRO MURIANO, Spain—Federico Borrell Garcia, Spanish loyalist militiaman, collapses into death, 1936.

This is a classic photo and I like it because the Spanish soldier looks totally peaceful and dare I say it, graceful even when falling to his death. Some have said it was faked but I don’t care. It’s beautiful.

Teresa David Seymour

POLAND—Teresa, a child in a residence for disturbed children, grew up in a concentration camp. She has drawn a picture of “home” on the blackboard, 1948. © David Seymour

This picture is just mind blowing. The kid is out of whack and severely traumatized by growing up in a concentration camp. Chalk lines that go nowhere and stay nowhere.

racism elliott erwitt

NORTH CAROLINA—A black man drinks at segregated water fountains, 1950. © Elliott Erwitt

White’s man burden. The difference is stark and very direct. It just hits you right in the face. White Americans even believed that they deserved better drinking fountains. Absurd.

sharpeville massacre

SHARPEVILLE, South Africa—Police open fire on a crowd, killing more than 70 and injuring hundreds of others during what came to be known as the Sharpeville massacre, 1960. © Ian Berry

I love the shot of the clouds in the picture. Ominous. Apocalyptic. Bearing weight upon everyone beneath it.

Martin Luther King

WASHINGTON, D.C.—At the climax of his “I Have A Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr. raises his arm on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and calls out for deliverance with the electrifying words of an old Negro spiritual hymn, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”, 1963. © Bob Adelman

Walking in the shadow of the valley of death, King does his thing and the audio for this speech is electrifying.

Jan Rose Kasmir

ARLINGTON, Va.—Jan Rose Kasmir confronts the National Guard outside the Pentagon during the 1967 anti-Vietnam War march, 1967. © Marc Riboud

This is a very iconic picture for many reasons as it totally symbolized the hippy creed of love overcoming all adversity and conflict.

The key to the appeal of Riboud’s seminal image may be Kasmir’s empathy for her adversary. “All of a sudden, I realized ‘them’ was that soldier in front of me—a human being I could just as easily have been going out on a date with,” Kasmir says. “It wasn’t a war machine, it was just a bunch of guys with orders. Right then, it went from being a fun, hip trip to a painful reality.” (Source)


SAIGON, Vietnam—The Saigon fire department, which has the job of collecting the dead from city streets, has just placed a girl, killed by U.S. helicopter fire, in the back of their truck, where her brother finds her, 1968. © Philip Jones Griffiths

Grief has been a main subject for many photographers and the little boy’s despair is heartbreaking.

Paris Riot

PARIS—Students hurl projectiles during the May 1968 student protest. © Bruno Barbey

The student protest in Paris was no Tiananmen but was a remarkably fun period for many students because of the massive energy on the streets. Protests, films, arts, secret meetings, marches, songs.. .the id unleashed in full glory. Barbey’s picture makes them look like they were dancing.


MEXICO—Mexicans are arrested while trying to cross the U.S. border, 1979. © Alex Webb

I love the color in this one. The maroon and browns of the shirts with the yellow daffodils. The helicopter becomes a misplaced contraption within the natural environment.

Afghan girl

PESHAWAR, Pakistan—An Afghan girl at Nasir Bagh refugee camp, 1984. © Steve McCurry

No worthy collection of seminal photography would ignore this iconic picture by McCurry. National Geographic made it big and this is really just a beautiful picture. Her eyes are incredible.

New Brighton

NEW BRIGHTON, United Kingdom—1985. © Martin Parr

I would love to know the context of this slightly surrealistic picture. Is he sunbathing or protesting with his body? The placement of the body just in front of the demolishing tractor just makes it so ambiguous. Love the little kid in pink.

Iran women

TEHRAN, Iran—Veiled women learn how to shoot in the outskirts of the city, 1986. © Jean Gaumy

Powerful picture. Women in Iran are generally treated like crap and heavily controlled by many fundamentalist rules. This picture is empowering and shows the strength of Iranian women.

Tiananmen square

BEIJING, China—Tiananmen Square, 1989. © Stuart Franklin

I can see why this picture was such a big hit when it was published. One person can make a change. Just one is usually enough to derail a movement or at least force it to reflect upon itself.

Tank Man, or the Unknown Rebel, is the nickname of an anonymous man who became internationally famous when he was videotaped and photographed during the Tiananmen Square protests on 5 June 1989. Several photographs were taken of the man, who stood in front of a column of Chinese Type 59 tanks, preventing their advance. (Wikipedia)


  1. Ann says

    Did anyone else notice?

    The person in front of the demolition tractor is a woman, not a man – look at her body…

    …and the Iranian women learning to shoot are actually men. Look at their height, faces and hands.

    Interesting photos. I realize how much of this I remember as part of my own history.

    Thank you.

  2. Debbie Schrecengost says

    The picture of women in Iran learning how to shoot are men. Look at their shoes and hands. The one person in the middle on the left looks like he has a mustach.

  3. Armando says

    It’s not Iranian women, but persian. Funny enough when you talk about the country It’s Iran, but when you talk about the people it’s persian. Don’t know why but I just did.


    Okay, first of all, the woman in front of the tractor is obviously a woman. I don’t get how anybody couldn’t see that from the beginnning.

    Second, about that one with the persian/iranian women:

    Let me get this straight. YOU THINK THEY’RE MEN BECAUSE OF THEIR SHOES? If they wear those damned carpet things, why not freaking wingtip shoes as well?

    And I don’t see a full-on moustache. They just look like…hmmm…how to put this delicately…they just look like butt-ugly middle-eastern women to me.

    But seriously- ugly or not, they should be pointing those guns at the asshats that are making them wear the sheets.

  5. says

    Wow…. you people look at these pictures, pictures that are captivating and like the caption says, world changing, and all you can say is how ugly the women are. Honestly, what is your problem?? Then you bash an entire group of people?? You make me sick. Seriously.

  6. robi says

    look at u, the pictures that changed the world made u think about whatever those shoes are a man’s shoe or women’s shoe, or if it is a man or a woman, … think about if u would stand in front of a tank… to prevent those women/ male’s to carry a gun…. no comment…..

  7. Robert Pruitt says

    “The picture of women in Iran learning how to shoot are men. Look at their shoes and hands. The one person in the middle on the left looks like he has a mustach.”

    I’m afraid that’s how their women look ;)

  8. Jasmina says

    it’s not the point to debate about mustaches and Iran or Persia..these pictures are really great pictures, and change the world..change us!

    “SAIGON, Vietnam—The Saigon fire department, which has the job of collecting the dead from city streets, has just placed a girl, killed by U.S. helicopter fire, in the back of their truck, where her brother finds her, 1968. © Philip Jones Griffiths
    Grief has been a main subject for many photographers and the little boy’s despair is heartbreaking.”


  9. Freedumb says

    Look at those hands. I dont care if your a farmer’s widow, you don’t have those kinds of hand. I like how Persian woman are suddenly ugly, yet you’ve probably never seen one. It just like dim witted opinion that all Swedish woman are beautiful tall blonds. And all Russian woman are big and husky and you cant tell the difference between them and their husbands, except for the Russian woman who are blond and smoke cigarettes, that are in all the bond movies. Way to think american

  10. BKS says

    Well, I disagree with the topic “Pictures that Changed the World”. Even though some of the pictures are astonishing, they are not really World Changing.

    As I read above on the moronic discussion about Iranian women, I really recommend those morons to switch their TV channels from Fox and CNN and at least search some truth on Internet.

  11. Nicole says

    My God, how ignorant can you people be, not all of you thank you but most of the comments left on here reflect a really poor, uneducated and disgusting attitude toward other cultures. The worst of it all you people are proud of being ignorant and stupid.
    First, the term iranian or persian is interchangeable. It depends on precise context which is NOT apparent from this picture:

    Second, all you idiots are the first to drool over beautiful women and middle eastern woman, are very beautiful by nature. Their eyes are capturing. I had a friend in college, she was drop dead gorgeous and guys were lining up for her, and guess what she was from Iran!!! Nevertheless, as someone smart pointed out, you can not generalize and every culture has beautiful and less attractive women, including America! Or are you telling me you never saw an American whopper-lady with a mustache? Come on ,get real….

    Third, I find it disturbing that some of you don t see the general aspect of these pictures pointed out, but view these photos with a strong bias. You really should be grown up enough to step back and see the picture rather than propaganda you heard somewhere, obviously not even accumulated on behalf of your own research. CNN someone suggested, I say get out of your cow-town and travel the world so maybe you can get an understanding that there are other things out there than baseball and Hot Dogs.

    What a bunch of morons….how sad.How embarrassing!

  12. John says

    dang, i just had to comment on that picture with the little girl drawing “home” on the blackboard, i cant say how deeply i feel for her.

    the world is not yet the good place we wish it to be

  13. Antonio says

    The picture of the young girl that had lived her life in a concentration camp really captured me. Yes she might have been mental due to the conditions but she is still in tune when asked to draw her home by drawing what i believe is barbed wire. Even though the picture still is a scary sight at how hatred of races has altered the world.

  14. Jenna says

    I’m not going to yell at everyone and call them stupid because they’re making time in their lives to have a discussion about these photos, but I’m also not going to get into a deep discussion about Iranian shoes vs. Persian shoes and whether or not they’re female or male. I don’t think that these pictures are “World Changing”, but they did make me think about some things slightly differently. As for the people who are yelling at everyone for having a discussion about the Iranian/Persian/Male/Ugly women learning how to shoot guns, amen to that, but you could put it a little more nicely. I really liked the picture of the water fountains. I absolutely hate racism, and I’m glad that at least some people are trying to wipe it out. Thank you for taking the time to post these photos! And thank you guys for commenting on them.

  15. Armino says

    ive lived and worjed in iran as a journalist during the iran-iraq war and i can say this-they have both male AND female officers and agents in veil simply because thats what a veil partially does-put the wearer in a position of power i.e. to see but not be seen…and I completely agree that they treat their women like property no matter what THEIR pictures say…

  16. says

    And why exactly are pictures that say “the US is evil white scum” pictures that have changed the world?

    I just think it’s trendy to have such titles now; many pictures are just leftist propaganda and have not changed the word, don’t even reflect anything.

  17. dale says

    the Persian/Iranian women need more practice .. none of them seem to have the trigger finger on the trigger …

  18. Robert says

    SF: Yes, actual photographs of actual events unfolding are leftist propaganda. Liberals staged the war in Vietnam, Jim Crow laws and Nazi concentration camps simply to supply themselves with a source of propaganda photos. Yes, these pictures don’t actually reflect anything. You are also a moron with your asscheeks brushing your shoulders.

  19. AGAPE says

    I feel that the interesting concept that this collection of pictures tries to represent, is the fact that no matter where or who we are, most of can sympathize with most if not all of those pictures.

    The grief the boy experienced losing his sister, or the life that the young girl had to live after the traumatic moments she endured in camps, or even the remarks and looks people gave her, how tragic, that neither chose that life and yet they had to live with it.

    But the real tragedy is the fact that even though we are capable of great things, both terrible and wonderful alike, is that some of us, are so ignorant.

    They say history is kept to keep us from making the same mistakes. The definition for the word insanity in the dictionary states that, “a person doing the same thing expecting different results”. These people on here who were looking at the Iranian women were truly only looking at the sad realization that don’t grasp the meaning of these pictures.

    Imagine then, if they cannot understand the concept behind a picture, what and how much they will lose on their lives because the hidden or underlying meaning is not as clear as a picture. It is truly sad. They too have my sympathy, only it is nonetheless a choice they made for themselves, unlike the little boy and girl.

  20. CS says

    Even with the fear of getting torn to bits for posting my sincere opinion, I’ll put in my 2 cents….
    These are indeed some very historically and culturally important photographs. I feel like there are several more that could and should be added… and I think that, in the future, if you’d like to avoid criticism from people who use the internet as a tool for abusing others, you should keep your opinions out of it, and just post the historical captions- nothing more. Maybe then you won’t get people bickering over stupid crap like “those are men- no, they are women” or “is the right term ‘Persian’ or ‘Iranian.’

    *and also… History is NEVER leftist propaganda. That belief is a dangerous one, used as wreckless means to disregard the suffering of others and to brush of any feelings of guilt that come from the deep wrong-doings within one’s past. [nevermind the fact that not all of those photographs comment on our own government] But if you want to be that vapidly ignorant, then just go ahead. It’s none of my business.*

    Otherwise, (back to SLORKER) I appreciate your efforts to share such significant images with your readers.

  21. Djaghtai says

    The day that will truly change all of humanity and revolutionize the very fabric of society is the day people can learn to overlook their biases and look at everything with an eye that examines with clarity and purity. The day that people learn to clear their minds and analyze what they see and hear with an unbiased heart and an open mind, will be the day that all of humanity overcomes every single problem it has ever faced. These images have been posted here so that we may further our inter-cultural insight and broaden our emotional receptiveness, and yet, somehow, certain individuals have managed, as they always do, to turn this into a hate-mongering argument about cultures and peoples, without stopping once to examine their own culture, or better yet, lack thereof, and they can find the effrontery to insult a people with such a rich and honorable culture as the Persians. They find the impudence within themselves to insult a people that brought the Roman Military Machine to its knees, four times. They know nothing, and as an old Turkish proverb states, “Never argue with a fool, he will bring you down to his own level, and defeat you with his skill”

  22. Djaghtai says

    The day that will truly change all of humanity and revolutionize the very fabric of society is the day people can learn to overlook their biases and look at everything with an eye that examines with clarity and purity. The day that people learn to clear their minds and analyze what they see and hear with an unbiased heart and an open mind, will be the day that all of humanity overcomes every single problem it has ever faced. These images have been posted here so that we may further our inter-cultural insight and broaden our emotional receptiveness, and yet, somehow, certain individuals have managed, as they always do, to turn this into a hate-mongering argument about cultures and peoples, without stopping once to examine their own culture, or better yet, lack thereof, and they can find the effrontery to insult a people with such a rich and honorable culture as the Persians. They find the impudence within themselves to insult a people that brought the Roman Military Machine to its knees, four times. They know nothing, and as an old Turkish proverb states, “Never argue with a fool, he will bring you down to his own level, and defeat you with his skill.” I bid you all peace and blessings. May Allah protect and bless those who struggle to aid others, and put their fellow humans before themselves. And to those of you who have such hate in your hearts and such enmity for a people that have never harmed you in any way, all I can say to you is, may Allah free your hearts from the shackles of hate.

  23. says

    actually persian is a cultural group, but iranians are the nation. There are ethnic persians, armenians, hazara and many other groups in Iran.

  24. Troy says

    Woman in front of earth over : Yes
    Iranian/Persian women: No, look at the hands. Look closely. Put on your glasses. Not women. Men dressed in burkas creating a little propaganda.
    The hippie creed overcoming all adversity and the soldiers bayonettes are not even unsheathed. Likely the guns were not even loaded.
    The Afghan girl stated later that she got nothing for the picture and has lived a poor broken life, though some ‘kind’ photographer made her the most well known picture of the 20th century… typical
    Tank man was hunted down after this picture and killed, along wqith over 1500 students of the University in Tiananmen. I know, a very close friend was there when this went down. Oh, and I don’t gives rats ass if you believe me.

  25. Jan says

    Many opinions, yes. All valuable. Some to remind us that the majority of people are… not very well read or travelled.

    My opinion on the pictures. Every picture is capturing a moment in very important times of our history. The picture of the militia man(Uhh…a leftist fighting against Franco in the spanish civil war) is this type of moment. It is his time of death. There are very few pictures, specially at that time, that could reflect how humanity has dealt with its problems for all of its existance. Many of this pictures display the courage individuals have had to act against what they think is wrong. Different means of fighting. Some others, portray the deep sorrow that some humans inflict in others. It is a sad history we have as a human race. We destroy most of what we are and have. But at least we now know that woman in Iran wear ugly shoes and have big hands. That seems to be the important thing here. Wow… I can see why we will never stop killing each other. Get a passport and travel, if not, read.


  26. Marga says


    You could have called them “Advertising photos”. You think of them what you want to think, of course. But, some of them are fakes, and others are misunderstandings, but all were made as publicity, and you do the job.

    Please, forgive me for my english

  27. Marga says

    Sorry again. Don´t you know men in desert many times wear this kind of clothes? I think if they were european, you hadn´t believed they are women. But you want to believe they are women. Why? you know

  28. persian_boy says

    I am an Iranian and let me tell you what I see in that picture of Iranian women learning to shoot:
    Be absolutely sure that these are women. But they are far from the average woman you’d see on the streets of Tehran. This picture is taken in 1986, at the time Iran was at war and fundamentalism was highest. I bet these women were part of the Revolutionary gurads themselves otherwise ordinary women don’t dress like that and don’t learn shooting. In fact what you have understood from the picture is very contradictory to reality. These are specially trained women who are part of the Revolutionary Militia. They still exist and from time to time they are used to enforce Islamic rule such as “Hijab” on the streets.
    They are NOT ordinary persian women learning to shoot, they are trained bitches who opress Iranian women.

  29. David Conlin says

    Firstly, I was amazed at the stupidity of some of the comments regarding Iranian women. Like every other country, there are those who would be considered beautiful, and those who would be thought of as homely: I won’t lower myself to use some of the descriptions already posted. The brother of my son-in-law is romantically involved with an Iranian girl, and she is not just pretty, she is absolutely gorgeous, so one really cannot generalise.

    New Brighton is on the south bank of the river Mersey, if this helps.

    The picture by Steve McCurry of the young Afgan girl in Peshawah was actually followed up years later, in order to show what the kind of life she lived did to her. It was quite an eye-opener.

  30. Mikey Robbins says

    The Iranian women are doing one thing that I know I can’t. Look at their fingers from their left hand. I don’t know about you but when I put my fingers around my wrist I can’t connect my thumb and forefinger. The womens anatomy has the ability to do this as women have a slightly smaller circumference on the wrist. end of discussion… don’t look at shoes or mustaches.. look at basic anatomy.

  31. B says

    In response to Mikey Robbins:
    I’m a woman and when I put my fingers around my wrist I can connect my thumb and my forefinger.. easily. Maybe you just have fat wrists??? hm?

  32. cysherred says

    I beg to differ about the statement that the images captured in these pictures changed the world at the current time. Martin Luther King changed the world and so did his speech, the war Hitler started and his actions of placing innocents in concentration camps changed the world, etc. These photos are moving in themselves, in addition to the people who are in them.

  33. feminist mel says

    When I looked at the picture of the “Persian” “women,” carrying guns, this is what I thought: If I had a choice between fighting to preserve the right to be a free human being (as opposed to being a possession), I’d take the gun over the burqa any day of the week.

  34. My comment says

    This page is exactly why Im ashamed of what America has become today. What happened to the true spirit of AMERICA? Not this crap wrapped replacment… I sickened and sad about it.

  35. Niko says

    Wonderful Page with amazing emotive pictures. However, the effect is totally lost when one reads the callous, inhuman remarks posted as comments. Do us a favor and remove the comments from this page.

  36. ed says

    you people talking bad about persian or iranian or any other culture for that matter must have bad self esteem or maybe your just ignorant. hey take your pick morons!

  37. Cindra says

    I agree that the comments twisted the point of the page. Also I’m glad that there are different world changing pictures. To the ones that are wondering where the Napalm girl is, this is a page made by someone. Perhaps they didn’t want to include it or felt differently than you about it.

  38. cory says

    these images are amazing and it seems to look that the picture of the women sunbathing and the kid in the pink look more like those realistic chalk drawings then humans for the man in the background looks real and the girls look drawn, but that is just my oppion

  39. geo t says

    If these pictures (which are all very moving) so “changed the world”, why are we still so fucked up? You’ll find all the proof you need of just how fucked up we are within the comments.

    Grief, oppression, war, racism, death, segregation and resistance, (just to name a few), all still exist today. The only thing that has changed are the people facing these issues.

    geo Bush = hitler
    Vietnam = Iraq
    blacks = gays
    mexicans are still looking for a better life in America
    Africa is still in turmoil
    Afghanastan is still poor
    women are still 2nd class citizens in many countries
    child abuse still runs rampid
    people still die

  40. Sarah says

    The people above are correct. The picture of the “women” learning to shoot guns is not a picture of women. There are women in the back, watching the people with the guns, but the people with the guns are men. They are learning to shoot wearing the clothing of a woman so that they can get into more places. Women are not allowed weapon power in Iran. However, they’re wrong that they have to keep their faces covered. There are some religious factions that require it, but the BIG rule for all is that they have to keep their HAIR covered, not their faces. They believe only their husbands should be allowed to look on their hair.

    But those are men.

  41. Peter Miller says

    It seems many of those photographs would make one think and question, but what worries me more is that if poor super educated and superior Nicole were ever to lose her balance, she could hurt herself seriously falling from the height she has chosen to live at.

  42. jeri says

    I see these pictures and feel so much compassion, empathy. Man’s inhumanity to man. I will never understand human beings. Our self will has taken us to some bad places. But I felt such joy when I saw Martin Luther King and that young man scaling the Berlin Wall. I grew up an army brat, and was in Germany as a little girl and then later as a teenager. I was born in Mississippi and we would stay there in between moves all over.
    I was fortunate that at a young age, I began to love all people. It was obvious to me that we were quite the same. We came from families we loved. We cried at things that brought us pain and celebrated all the wonderful things of life. As a white southern girl I would have been shot because I can’t believe I would have thought it was right to own slaves. Once when I had to go to school in Mississippi, I got on the school bus and sat down beside a black girl. When we got to school, I was told by other white kids that i shouldn’t do that. I thought they were crazy. One of my first girlfriends was a little German girl who lived next door to us. We taught each other our languages, and played like all little girls do. In first grade my best friend was Dorothy Yebanez, a pretty Spanish girl. Oh I thought her big sister was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. I wanted black hair and brown eyes. She always wore pretty pink sweaters and lipstick. She was gorgeous.
    I was in Germany as a teenager before they tore that wall down. Do you realize that people had relatives that they couldn’t visit. Sometimes they would let people come in, but you didn’t always know if you could get out.
    My parents knew a young couple who had escaped. They shot people trying to do that. Americans do not realize so much, and I can’t believe that after all this time people are still so afraid of someone who doesn’t quite look like, or act like or worship the same way. I hate what happened to us on Sept. 11th, but why must we judge everyone who looks like they might be a terrorist. America has enough fanatical people who are home grown. How is it that we still don’t get it? While a teenager in Germany, I visited a concentration camp. You can’t imagine the evil you can feel there. Even if you had no idea of what the place was you would know something beyond human comprehension happened there.
    Why can’t people just agree to disagree. What makes the world such a wonderful place is our differences. How boring would it be if we were all the same?
    Thank you for showing these pictures. It gives one reason to pause.

  43. Annette says

    Those women with guns can’t be men. Men must wear beards there. It is very serious if they do not have a beard.

  44. Alexander says

    Now this is a classic. These are photos that depict some of the most horrific moments of recent Human history – and what do we educated, civilized westerners do? We get into a heated debate wether the people in the one photo are men or women. And someone actually has the nerve to complain that these photos make the US look bad. Let me tell you what these photos do to me: they make me humble. They make me realize that all the bitching about our work stress, bad weather, lack of money or whatever the heck people can moan about, at the end of the day counts for nothing because most of us haven’t even been close to experiencing what these people have endured. Why don’t some of you just shut their mouths for 30 seconds and actually think? Or is that asking too much?

  45. dave says

    thats clearly just brighton, not new brighton… you can tell by the greenish paint on the rails… also if it was the one by the Mersey it would have probably just said uk or merseyside.

  46. Han says

    These are honestly breathtaking photos. Never mind the argument of whether or not its a man or woman, it comes down to the fact that in each picture, there a story to be told about that certain person or group of people that changed the world and how we look at it. How about thinking a little deeper than the male/female question or arguing the smallest detail?

  47. says

    I’d like to make the obvious comment on the sun tanning dude. I hope there isn’t a soul beleiving in that picture because it’s photoshopped like crazy.

  48. Jennifer says

    If im not mistaken they ARE men in the picture of women learning to shoot. not for any physically reasons but If Im remembering correctly they dressed that way because soldiers were less likely to fire on a woman, they hesisitate.

    They had advanced photoshop readily available to the public in 1985?

    I’ve always loved the photo of the refugee woman on the national geographic cover. There’s so much feeling captured, it’s heart breaking, which is difficult in even the most emotional of photographs.

  49. Dick Norsworthy says

    The sunbathing lady appears to have lost her top and, maybe, possibly, could be, is about to lose her bottom. Joking aside, these are great photos.

  50. your name says

    The “women” in the black veils shooting guns…..those look like men..they have no body curves, and even when women where those you can still see curves…no curves, and they have big “manly” hands…women do not handle their hands that way, nor do there hands shape like men’s..even the tough big ones….looks like skinny Hindu’s from India. And I don’t see a mustache on the one in the left…thats just my opinion though..looks like men to me!

  51. Caity says

    I don’t care if they’re men or women, although reading these post has an uncanny resemblance to a Monty Python script. What I would like to point out is that these pictures span the whole world, and the readers and comments left reflect that diversity. Why therefore, when anyone writes some dumb comment, the next post bemoans the idiotic Americans? Dumb peoples live globally, or these pictures would be a lot fewer…

  52. says

    Some of the people commenting here are morons. Some are very smart and would be wonderful to have a beer with. Thing about comments is, it takes all kinds.

    I get tired of themes of “pictures that changed the world” because most of what people think are photos that changed the world are not. There are not a lot of photos that hit people with true ferocity such as is required to motivate them to change.

    Photos that did change the world are ones like the Napalm Girl (Kim Phuc) who made Americans realize that Vietnam was a war being faught in a way that few people could tolerate. Or some of the first photos ever, from the 1880s, showing Congo heads on poles taken by Belgian lords of the rubber maid, causing the first ever global humanitarian movement before the century would finish, a movement that ended the horrific rubber trade of the Belgians that cost 10 million lives. Or the photo of an astronaut playing golf on the moon — that changed the world because we realized how much power we had and how much of an age of science we now lived in.

    But while we wanna believe that the Tianneman Square photo (sp?) changed the world, it did sweet fuck all. China still oppresses rights and has become THE most powerful nation in the world now, regardless of what Americans might want to think.

    So, I hate that people use the title “photos that changed the world” when, really, they’ve done nothing. Like a woman lying down sunbathing in front of a tractor did a damned thing to better anyone’s life? And while the Holocaust survivor girl’s drawing is disturbing, what did that accomplish? More evidence that putting six million Jews to death and destroying the lives of countless others was a shit move on the part of Nazis? Well, duh. But it didn’t change fuck all, sadly.

    That said, you’ve picked a neat group of pictures that capture some parts of our lives, but their revelance beyond that leaves me puzzled. Thanks, tho. I’m just fussy, having been a photojournalism student and all.

  53. says

    Belgian lords of the rubber maid? Jesus. I need coffee. Belgian Lords of the Rubber Trade, I meant… that period from about 1880 to 1920, which may have been the first true holocaust, in which 10 million Congo Africans died under the hands of imperialists all raging to get rubber — thanks to the arrival of the car and the bicycle, both of which needed copious rubber.

  54. says

    “Mostly doused in black and white gradients”, Take a writing class! this phrase is absolutely devoid of meaning. Some of these are great pictures although the woman in front of the tractor is the most obvious fake I’ve seen in a while: the shdows point is slightly different directions. Sadly it doesn’t take anything like propaganda to make th U.S. look bad these days; just a quick glance at any newspaper.

  55. Steff says


  56. says

    The remarkable thing about the last picture is that the soldier running this tank refused to run over this guy. Sentenced to death.

  57. Alex says

    How niave are you? The Persia/Iranian people are ladies. Just because they look different from us and what we are used to doesn’t mean they are not women. The whole look at the shoes comments is also dumb. Some people can afford feminine or masculan shoes. They just have shoes. Besides, you really shouldn’t be critizing these pictures, instead look at how amazing they are and how they can really make a difference.

  58. Lawrence Tureaud says

    Yeah, the Tienanmen square picture really changed a lot. 18 years later and 1.3 billion chinese people either don’t know it happened or are too afraid to admit that they do, and the corrupt government is aided in its censorship and repression by the majority of major corporations and the US government, all so we can import sundry crap for cheap.

  59. Lauri says

    Djaghtai, beautifully said. and robert and adrienne and many other people, you are not experts. dont act like you are. and dont call people of other races ugly. that is called racism, and it is exremely hurtful.
    now on to the pictures. these are all beautiful and thought-provoking pictures, and i will surely remember them. I especially appreciated the one with Jan Rose Kasmir.
    (for the record, all of these are real photos, and the people in the iranian/persian picture are, most definitely, women. the parents of an old friend of mine are from iran, and her mother, although not beautiful by american standards, has amazingly soulful eyes that give her a distinct uniqueness. and really, who cares if they’re beautiful on the outside or not?

  60. Anonymous says

    These poor ignorant fools, that look at these magnificent photographs, and can only make racist remarks about the women holding guns. Look at what our world has become.

  61. BadJimFred says

    The message these kinds of photos send me is a simple idea, but a very hard concept to grasp or deal with. I look at those people, and I can’t help but think that they could be me. That could be my sister in the truck. It could be my niece drawing the picture of home-sweet-hell on the chalk board. That could be my friends and brothers revolting in the streets, it could be the same friends and brothers being shot down for it.

    These types of pictures take away the polish of living in the luxury that most of us writing on here are so accustomed to. It forces you to feel the grit of a life more based on need and survival and less on flourishing, acquiring, and wanting. These pictures have the power to change every persons individual world if you imagine your self in their shoes. Outside the filter and in the open. It is an opportunity to see the pain that the world is in, and to thank fate or god or what ever you would thank, that you have who and what you have.

  62. steph says

    Personally i don’t think it’s so much a question of what our world has become but rather what we still haven’t yet overcome and how very far we still have to go.Things like what were depicted here still happen every day and sadly probably will until there is nothing left.And we will probably still be here arguing about about wether they are men or women or if it’s new brighten or just brighten all the way until that last seconds when it’s too late and we realize how trivial and umimportant those subjects really are.

  63. Tanen Kiriyami says

    On the picture of the girl who grew up in the concentration camp:

    Those lines are not random
    they are very calculated if messy. The sense of proportion may be off but you can clearly get the feeling of barbed wire, buildings, fences, and the grass beyond them. She is drawing just like my little sisters have made drawings.

    This girl has a very clear picture of what ‘home’ was. She just can’t show it in terms that are easy for most of us to understand. I bet if you asked her she could tell you what each line, circle, box, and blot was. She would have a very VERY strong meaning for everything.

    It may look jumbled, messy, nonsensical to many of us but to her its a map of ‘home’.

  64. Marcus says

    There is no ‘New Brighton’ in the UK and this picture wasn’t taken in ‘old’ Brighton.

  65. dreamsofmishra says

    Well, first of all I’d like to request to everyone that we’ve already acknowledged that the above comments over the Iranian men/women are completely pointless and insensitive, so please cut down on the America-bashing.

    I agree that these aren’t pictures that changed the world. There are many more impactful pictures around. There’s a room full of hair in Germany. It is the hair of the victims of the Holocaust. It fills the room up to your chest level. Go take a look.

    However, some were interesting pictures. I agree that the photograph of the Afghan refugee was really good. She was in such helplessness and desolation, but her eyes showed will and vigor. I am impressed and humbled by her tenacity.

    I hope we can all criticise less and open ourselves to what the photographs are trying to tell us. The feelings we invoke from it, and why. Only through self-deliberation can we better understand ourselves and the world we live in.

    That said, some pictures are really pointless.

  66. Sahar says

    o0ps guys… tnx for all of your nice and acceptable opinoin about us:))…I`m sahar from Tehran!!!yeah but u dont really know about us.. sorry for u…lets see,how much u know about Iran culture or our custom?!hmm?? I`ll gamble with each of u!! u never know anything about our history!&yes I`m agree with u about this pic but is it true to see one side of coin?!
    And who knows about the major goal of photographer?!hmmm?

  67. Dave says

    Looked at “An Afghan girl at Nasir Bagh refugee camp, 1984. © Steve McCurry” and think, as I do frequently when seeing this possibly beautiful, possibly intent and possibly intelligent woman what she will become, and what she could have become in a different culture? What would I be dropped into her’s?

  68. Marc Welsher says

    I enjoyed the pictures you selected. However, I question the accuracy of the picture allegedly taken in Arlington, VA with the hippie with the flower confronting the national guard troops. I’m almost certain that the picture was taken at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 just minutes before the guards opened fire and killed four students. It’s known for certain that a female student did in fact place a flower in the muzzle of one of the guardsmen just prior to the tragic murders. I would ask that you check to make certain. If I’m in error then please accept my apologies before hand. Heaven knows I’ve been wrong before (haven’t we all?)

    Very Respectfully,

  69. Sat. D. says

    The pictures made me pause, and empathize…I was born in a refugee camp in south east Asia, but raised in an area with a huge German population. I moved to a location where there is a huge middle eastern population. And across the river there is a Detroit. I have traveled in my short 28 years of life. I have met many Americans. Some more ignorant then others…But then I have met many Asians (as I am Asian), also some more ignorant then others…I have met racist Caucasians, and racist (they are not black my boyfriend says…) they are Brown folks…(that is what he prefers to be called)…I have in the last 8 years interacted with many middle eastern people, from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan…

    NOT everyone I have ever encountered have been good people. But for the most part, If they were not good; it wasn’t because of their Race. or Gender. or Religion. It was because they as a human begin made choices in their lives to be the asses they were.

    I have known people coming from dysfunctional families and becoming great community leaders. and I have also known people coming from great families that turn into crack dealing messed up scum of society.

    These pictures make me pause and empathize…individually….but they did not change the world. When the everyone in the world has the free choice to be good or bad. There will always be people choosing the bad somewhere….over good.

    Just wanted to put my two cents in about the man/woman debate. there are many Asian men, that look and dress like woman…and there is no way you would be able to tell if they are man or woman unless u had a peek at their….ya know? well frankly the ‘women’ with guns…just take it as the headline says women…
    The day you get the chance to check out their privates…in person, is the day you can make the judgment of whether or not they are man or woman. ITS A PICTURE. AND UNLESS YOU WERE THERE WITH THEM…you don’t know. STOP JUDGING!

  70. Lazerus says

    I am a man 5 feet 11 inches tall 177 pounds and I can wrap my hand around my wrist easily touching thumb to forefinger.

    You must all remember, everybody has a Political agenda, Including Photographers.
    When there is a camera around most people pose and a few run and hide, Therefore all photos are staged either by the subject, the Photographer, or both.

    In the photo of the Iranians, everybody involved was attempting to make a statement. The truth cannot be known.

    Everybody looking at the picture has a different political perspective.

    They are only interesting pictures.

  71. Eviel says

    In response to those looking for New Brighton. It is a small area of the Wirral peninsula right at the tip where the River Mersey empties out into the Liverpool Bay. During it’s hayday from later Victoria days up until the 1960′s, it was a popular seaside resort with a fun fair, sandy beaches and a Napoleonic river fort. The Mersey ferries used to run from Liverpool to the New Brighton Pier carrying day trippers.
    Sadly, New Brighton fell upon hard times and the old Victoriana has now been mostly replaced with modern style buildings. The Pier was demolished and the “Ferry ‘cross the Mersey” no longer goes there. The picture shows a bulldozer at the edge of one of the few ramps that lead on / off the beach. Presumably, it is being used to aid in the building of the improved sea defenses. During the building of these, musch of the beach was unusable, so people wishing to sunbathe (a rare thing) on the shore of the Mersey would have to find anywhere that they could. Can’t realy agree that this is a world changing picture, still, for someone who used to go to New Brighton as a child, and still now upon occasion, it does holds a quaint charm and brings back memories of the ’60′s and ’70′s.

  72. sleep says

    Wow, what a bunch of morons.
    I like how every stereotypical/racist/mean/ignorant comment comes from an American.
    Trust me, there are plenty of asshats in every country.

  73. Joe says

    I think it is a woman not a man suntaning in the New Brighton Beach picture. I am a little foggy on my history….what significance did this picture have???

  74. Joe says

    Thanks for the explaination Eviel. You answered my question before I posted my question.

  75. says

    amazing pictures! i was very touched by the girl holding flower in front of a line of soldiers. and of course, the tiananmen picture too… so compelling

  76. says

    ‘Skinny hindu’ speaking! I won’t comment on some of the completely prejudiced and ignorant comments I read here (Especially the comments about skinny hindus and Persian women being ugly with big hands and moustaches were priceless). I would like to say that in my opinion the most powerful picture was the child lying in the truck with her brother crying over her.The one of the Parisian students protesting seemed the most elegant.
    As for the tag ‘World changing’…I don’t see why some people have a problem with that…it captures some of the key events of world history, and if they have got so many of us to talk about hate and humanity, then the photographs have more than lived up to the tag.

    Beautiful, thought-provoking pictures — thanks for putting them up here!

  77. Peter says

    The comments are almost as interesting as the photos, and maybe more important. The peoples’ comments reflect their perception and reaction to some very important events and situations in the world. What an amazing display. Us Humans are truly complex, kinda want to love us and hate at the same time. I’m sure a psychologist would appreciate this portrayal of “care for others/care for oneself” (extravert/intravert) nature of humans as shown in the comments, and how individual minds focus on different things, from important themes to insignificant bullshit. I find the one comment of the person (SF) that took offense to the photos as portraying white people as “the US is evil white scum” , and then dragged politics into the frame with claims of “leftist propaganda” especially interesting. I also found it interesting that most following comments ignored SF’s comment. I’ll bet most with SF’s view just jumped to a different website as soon as they were confronted with certain photos that offended them. The scary thing to me is that the root of the difference in peoples’ way of thinking is hard wired by nature (i.e. genetic), regardless of education, environment and circumstance. That may explain why human history is what it is, and therefore, will continue along the same path.

  78. Peter says

    I was hoping someone would present a valid arguement to my (not well thought out) hypothesis (July 10, 2007 @ 3:05 PM). My God, I hope I’m wrong. I was expecting someone to say “Bullshit!”. Can we change the course of history? Of course we can, GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!!! No matter where you live, make your voice heard, even if you don’t think you have enough info to win an arguement. Some people are just good at argueing (Rush Limbaugh), some aren’t (me), but your opinion is just as valid, and in reality, just as intelligent. I have five kids, and almost 2 grandkids. All I want for my kids is for them to be participants in this world, I’m not pushing them to become “leaders”, and I don’t want them to become victims of “leaders”. Its up to the masses to bring the dominating fringe into the fold (easier said than done), it has been done before (WW2). Yes, there is valid data that points to genetic influence upon personality. But everyone does have freedom of choice. A person might have a genetic predisposition to lose their temper, but that person has the ability to choose between letting loose a few choice curse words, rather than punching the person closest them in the face. I guess the answer is to try to keep an OBJECTIVE eye on the world around you, get info from as many sources as possible, and try to make rational sense of it and then always be prepared to accept the possibility that you could be wrong. Also appreciate the possibility you could be right and everyone else is wrong (example; widespread justification of the treatment of the Jews, Poles, gypsies, etc. in Germany and EU >1920′s). Just be prepared to be shot if you decide to make a stand. That’s the part that scares me. One parting thought… what’s worse; to hurt other people thinking you’re doing the right thing, or to stand by watching other people suffer knowing you might be able to stop it if you just had the courage?

  79. S says

    demolition tractor… is that a strange way of saying tank? Or is there really confusion about what those are. TANKS. MILITARY. not demolition TRACTORS…

  80. MC says

    You’re definately on the right track, Peter. This page shows optomism and pessimism at extremes…Photos as well as comments.

  81. DDRFreak says

    These pictures are mindblowing, I love them. BUT, did anyone notice what the little girl in pink is doing on the sidewalk? Relieving herself. I lol’d.

  82. mireille says

    I did a whole project concerning the Steve Mccurry’s photo . It’s just amazing and really touching . U should check all his work , he’s a very inspiring photographer .

  83. paulina says

    New Brighton is in the UK on the other side of the Mersey River from Liverpool.
    Don’t see why the photo is considered world changing though!

  84. me,me, meeeeee says

    I can’t believe some of the comments on here either. For all the negative comments how do any of you know that the people leaving negative comments are from America? You’re judging them just as they judged a picture. I looked back at the picture of the women with the guns. They look like ladies to me, all women do not have “dainty” hands and do you really think these women have the option of wearing sandals or heels or flip-flops? These women are supposed to be covered from head to toe. That one of the person standing in front of a tank, how the heck can you tell that it is a woman? I’m sure they had to go and move that person out of the way and they found out then that it was a guy. It’s just amazing to look at any pictures, whether or not they make a world difference or not.

  85. Hannah says

    hey, so after I saw that little boy’s face and the demented little girl it made me realize how sad and cold the world could be. than the woman with the flower to show her connection to the soliders, because they are poeple too…lets just notice, together, how beautiful it all is: pain, laughter, fun and struggle, this is life.
    so instead of trying to figure out if these people are men or women maybe just let it soak in what you may be seeing, it may be your only chance…

  86. Kyleen O'Daniell says

    These are pictures that are supposed to have “changed” the world. They never promised to fix it. Also, change does not have to be drastic. Any difference at all is a change. Every photograph here, real or not, regardless of the content, has made some impact on the life of each person who saw them. Lastly, I am very disappointed in the grammar and spelling of some people. I am also confused as to why several comments are not in English. I love languages, so I wish there were translations accompanying them.

  87. Sarah says

    truthfully, i don’t care about any of your comments. I like the Photos and really, why does the title matter? and also why can’t you people just look at the photos and see their meaning? not who is who and what is what? it’s pretty sad.

  88. Sarah says

    oh and i really like the picture of the mexacans getting arested while trying to cross the border. but I like it because of the feeling and the color. the color makes it seem better than it is thou.

  89. says

    gee who cares? come on! untill we all stop being btards to one another, the world will be as sick as it always has been! dont matter if we are male/female, tall/short, fat/thin etc!!!

  90. harry potter says

    Crib Crib Crib.. I don’t know what these photographs have changed..
    People on this forum are still in conflict over a set of photographs. I don’t think anything will ever change basic nature of humans. Least of all photographs.

  91. McCracken says

    Just a quick comment about the women in Iran, all the different comments on where they are from and what nationality they are, it is amazing how many racist people want to create a stir but I am sure Jean Gaumy knew completely where the picture was and if they were women or not, so if you are confused just read the caption at the bottom of the picture.

  92. JOE says

    The pictures paint the world we live in is a place of survival and struggle hope it will come to an end and we may find peace and freedom in the new world.

  93. adt says

    the pictures are really good ones…
    the afghan girl is really beautiful..and she was traced later on by the natgeo team..and a documentary was done on her..she seemed to be living in very poor conditions even them..and i suppose she had kids too…
    and the woman lying in front of the tank is definitely not a protest..the tank is just there..seems to be there since a while..and the woman is just happy she has found a spot…
    the color in the mexican picture is just too good….

  94. Patty says

    I would love to know whatever became of the little girl drawing the picture of her home.

    Reading some of the comments on this site really upset me. Everyone acts like a critic. People…look at the pictures and see what the content is all about….not what their wearing, how ugly they are, or who is who and what is what…the pictures show that things are happening all over the world while we are sitting at our bar-b-Qs eating ribs and chicken. Life goes on no matter what your thinking, and it won’t be to your liking either.

    About the man in front of the tank….I thought I heard back then that they ran him down. Either way…shows there is alittle “American” in all of us somewhere out there.

  95. Robert says

    The Tienanmen Square photo is my favorite but lets give the tank crew some credit. The could have easily run over the guy. I am looking forward to the day that demonstrators and soldiers realize they are on the same side.

  96. Barden says

    Does anyone remember how Tienanmen Square ended? It was a tragedy in the end. One man’s defiance DID NOT win out. As profound as the protests were- they ended in violence and business as usual.

    I find it interesting that people constantly rip apart the appearances of women. Interesting and sad. I actually can’t see much of those women because of their garbs, but I’m not sure whether they are attractive or not is the point… And,what’s more, now you’ll think this is really funny, but I don’t find guns all that empowering- doesn’t matter if it’s men, women, children or leprechauns that are holding them. I think this is less about women “empowered” with hand guns and more about conflict and seeming contradiction.

  97. chris says

    whether they’re women or men, they’ve only just begun their training, the one at the front hasnt quite managed to grasp the finger-pulls-trigger concept. (and is pretty much holdign the gun in completely the wrong way)

  98. Stein Ove says

    Arguing on the internet is like running in the special olympics etc….
    About the girl with the historically beautiful eyes: She was rediscovered a few years back, i believe by a magazine called “illustrert vitenskap”. 70 yrs or so, her eyes was still spectacular!

  99. Andrea says

    Thanks for sharing those pictures. Sometimes we forget how tragic, albeit full of life, life can be. Who cares about staged photos? women or men? photoshoped? Photojournalists create images so we can react, feel and think. I wonder if all the people debating gender and the proper way to call citizens of a given country, actually had a thought/realization after watching these photos?

  100. Kayla says

    I am 17 years old and even i wasn’t worried about the women’s gender or whether or not something was photoshopped. These pictures are inspiring and beautiful. Maybe some of the information on here isnt true. WHO CARES! Dont argue just to argue.They still taught you something didn’t they? like how courageous people can be when they are fighting for something they believe in. They always taught us that in school but these people actually lived it. Or how cruel people can be to one another. Ok now im rambling. Thanks for your pictures.

  101. says

    look at the sunbathing under demolishing tractor. this pict. was copy n paste and was combine. look closely the shadow(near foot). not accurate.

  102. Anny says

    Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: “Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”

  103. Miki says

    I loved the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. It is so true. As I looked over the photographs, I was overcome with the oddest mixture of pride and shame for humanity. I got the same feeling as I scanned over the comments left on this page. But it made me think of exactly how diverse we humans are, and how expansive our possibilities are. I guess what I mean to say is, there is hope for even the most narrow-minded person to one day comprehend that appearances are not the essential thing. Acceptance is a wonderful thing, and as Martin Luther King Jr so correctly said, we are all equal in the eyes of God. Berating others for their perspective on things isn’t going to change their minds.

  104. Noel says

    Hey that is a load of bull!!!!!!! Those things in black with guns are called NINJAS, in the part of the world where I work……..

  105. says

    you people are pathetic
    these images have captivated audiences with the meaning they hold
    that MAN in front of the tractor/tank/whichever you wish to claim it as, is one of the most inspirins human beings i have ever seen
    while you pretend to care about the latest fashion to impress your partner or friends, this person was trully standing up for what they believe it. he wasn’t risking rejection, he was risking his life.
    and as for the iranian women,
    when you see women in such a state of violence, holding up guns
    i would’ve thought the last thing to occur to you was their appearance.
    grow up
    see the bigger picture

  106. Cristyn says

    I think the worst part of these photos is they are from different times, depicting different pain and yet we still have not stopped causing each other pain.

  107. Alberto_pankalberto says

    I’m only an italian boy… I want know why these imagine aren’t in all the world, in every places. I really want to change the world, but it’s so hard for me… I’m 14, and nothing else… I’m strong in my heart, but this is not anought!
    I would these foto will be pubbliced… I wish me this! Because all the world must knows all of this events… Thank you for this web-site!

    Alberto, 29 september 2007.

  108. Ann is dumb says

    Ann — how exactly can you judge their height in that picture? Considering there aren’t any objects near them with which to base their height, it’s not possible. -_- And why would you say to look at their shoes? Should they be wearing heels? Your ignorance is disturbing.

  109. says

    Ah yes. amazing photos, really stunning stuff, and all the comments can think to say is “theyre men!” “you’re stupid!” “something racist!” “shut up!”

    Jesus. admire the art, although the ninja comment made me laugh.

    -We are the enlighteners, the force which opens the eyes of our fellow man. -Werner Bischof

  110. Rickgmi says

    I do believe that the picture of the woman are woman..the shoes are very common like the one the jewish wear, also you cant go by there hands..they don’t have a appliances like we do here and woman use there hands more there in rough there hands naturally developed to binging strong and rougher

  111. Cynthia says

    I think people began insulting the women in the photo holding guns because they felt threatened.

    Incredibly provocative images.

  112. Mary says

    I honestly believe, from the facial structure, other hints and my knowledge of the Middle East that those aren’t women.

    The photos are good, discounting that one perhaps…not due to its artistic quality but to the fact that it’s a falsehood.

    Unless the author cites his sources…

    Mary (American, living in Turkey.)

  113. Bob Fry says

    Well, few of these photos changed the world, so that’s nonsense. They are great photos, historically or artistically, and probably have changed a few people’s lives, but none changed world events.

  114. p says

    I think these photos are moving, but the author’s comments are so jarring and inappropriate for the material that it doesn’t feel like the content is honored properly. Not to mention the ignorant and racist comments that have been left. Terrible.

  115. says

    Just wanted to say what a great collection of pictures these are and thank you for your enlightening comments, the photos are iconic and thought provoking. I find the gender conversation laughable, and really dose highlight the ignorance of some people.

  116. Ross says

    Most of the pictures seem to realte to the US. Although the US has a heavy influence on the Western world I don’t think they represent pictures that changed the world.

  117. says

    power-full photography. i want to do some like those. if people look at them and reflect, it’s already worth it.

  118. azita1 says

    I am a woman from Iran.
    happy to come across this page so I can see the importance of starting to put up some material (pictures, etc…) about the country and the women i grew up with so may be we can one day realize the bigger picture: our interconnectedness. azita

  119. Ben Campbell says

    I lived in New Brighton for a couple of years. The man (or is it woman) is doing a perfectly ordinary thing in New Brighton, ie sunbathing. The digger has anti vandal bars to prevent local holigans breaking its bullet proof windows, or mayne just driving it away. It is clearly shutdown for the weekend, but is the handbrake ok?

    New Brighton had Victorian era aspirations to be the Brighton (resort) of the North. Now if you live there, you may still sunbath on the promenade. Scousers (people who live on Merseyside) have allways had a great sense of humor. The digger protects the sunbather from being run down by a mororcycle and the tracks make a useful picnick table.

  120. anomalous says

    Can’t believe all the loud-mouthed zionists on the internet; if they have to bombard even innocuous places like this to spout their sick racist crap, there is something seriously, seriously wrong with them.

  121. bm says

    whoever wrote the captions for the photographs is a fucking idiot. the context to judge is not what others have told you, but what you believe yourself. the author of this page follows what he is told. no original thoughts here. i tried to be the better man and accecpt what was written about these photos…but the author displays such annoying, rediculous, bullshit opinions, i cannot help but comment. im no genious but i realize a waste of time when i see one. i saw only the first three photos, and the comments ruined it for me. leave the pictures to speak for themselves. fuckhead.

  122. sean says

    LBJ was a liberal democrat who lied about the gulf of tonkin incident that
    started the war. So you see liberal or conservative they all love to
    send us to war. Stop electing these pro war idiots.

  123. ThisGuy says

    Amazing Pictures, The Student protest looks the best. All pictures are amazing though. Comments are really surpassing, what I though you would read for the subject. Interesting none the less to see what we have become.

    For Shame.

  124. Dennis says

    I despair when I read comments like “Anamalous” (Jan 17 2008).
    He lacks total credibility when he can’t use the correct title (anonymous), can’t spell, can’t punctuate, and uses gutter language.
    Get yoourself a bit of learning, man, and widen your horizons!

  125. sara says

    Its very hurtful. yes, we have some restriction in Iran but NOT generally treat as crap! you’re so insensitive.
    the comment under the Tehran-Iran photo really hurt me. douche!

  126. says

    My favorite one is “BEIJING, China—Tiananmen Square” it looks like some normal guy who just went out to but some food then randomly decided to protest.

  127. grass says

    Dr. Martin Luther King looks a bit like a sunbathing Iranian woman in that photo. That’s what I’ll take away from this experience.

  128. Tre says

    I especially like the irony behind how the white/colored water fountains are so obviously are fed from the same supply line. A blatant illustration of the cliché: “it is what’s on the inside that counts”

  129. Simone says

    Wow the author of the descriptions is a asshat, look at the dafadoils and clouds as fucking beaners jump the border, and the helicopter so ugly, faaaaggggoooottttt

  130. says

    The pictures are really incredible. The one I think I find most moving is that of the little boy discovering his slain sister. It really drives home the cruelties thrust upon innocent people in the name of war, in the name of freedom. How sad. Sort of in the same vein I found the hippie picture pretty moving as well, if only we could all take a lesson in relating to those we view as enemies. For better or worse we’re all human, and to quote someone (not entirely sure who) war doesn’t decide who is right, only who is left.

  131. says

    These pictures are really moving. My favorite is the little boy discovering his sister. I find it so incredibly sad that we feel we must inflict these cruelties on innocent people in the name of freedom. How sad. To quote someone (though I am not really sure who) war doesn’t decide who is right, only who is left. The other photo I really loved is of the hippie reaching out to the soldiers. If only we could all learn a little about putting ourselves in the shoes of others, and recognizing that we are all people, none better than the other, not matter if you “look like a man (how petty can you be?!) or not. We all come into the world the same way, and we all go out the same way. If only we could learn to enjoy our brief time here together without prejudice and hate.

  132. Tara says

    I wept at the last picture. One man accomplishing so much. I think of all the atrocities that occur in the world, and I think of how we are the least humane of all the species. But then I witness something like that, and I realize we have the capacity for empathy, and compassion, and an incomparable desire for change. I think we need to see these things to remember what it is like to feel, and what it is like to truly be alive, and to be reminded that these too are your average, everyday people. Not one of them woke up those mornings and said, “I think I’ll change the world today”. But imagine if they had.

  133. rajaa says

    Bonjour/hello/salam/holla !
    Firt of all, I would like to put a little of french in all of these comments.
    Je disais donc, qu’au lieu de polémiquer sur “est ce des hommes ou n’est ce pas des hommes ces Iraniennes/(or persanes if u prefer) regarder un peu la beauté de ces images, ce qu’elles dégagent et surtout à quels grands moments histooriques elles appartiennent..

    ELles st tout simplement splendides….

    la photo intitulée “An Afghan girl at Nasir Bagh refugee camp, 1984″ est saisissante… Le bleu lagon des yeux de cette jeune fille m’obscede.

    Bonne journée à tous et à toutes


  134. says

    The photo of the Iranian women reminds me of what we have to look forward to in America if Hillary or Obama become President. God help us all!

  135. kerem says

    yeah these pics amazing.. especially number eight and fourteen is unbeliveableand stories hurt my heart..

  136. dan says

    a picture is worth a thousand words, but why the hell do we have to read the ones this guy comes up with?

  137. Steve says

    Many of these pictures are about the horrors of violence and war, if these pictures changed the world so much, why do we all rush so readily into new wars and conflicts? Besides in this context, these pictures show it is people that change the world, and these are their pictures, and most of them seem to pay a very heavy price! Probably why we right crap that no one will read on the internet, its safer and more comfortable.
    Why do so many of you,almost all of you, fail to grasp the horror in these images, do you need tragedy and horror visited on you before you can see it? Is blindness to suffering the so called “human condition” that dooms us?
    Sadly reading many of your comments tells me nothing is likely to change soon!

  138. Megan says

    Anyone think that the picture of the 3 children running through the streets of Vietnam after becoming victim to the latest American napalm attack on civilians should have been up there? Just a thought.
    But power to the dude in tienamen square though.

  139. Erfan M. says

    Omg…You guys are so rude, talking about foreign people, right when I read the stuff about “THOSE IRANIANS HAVE MUSTACHES AND R UGLY, ROFLROFLROFL”, I was disgusted and very sad because people with no minds were randomly making fun of people who they dont know, and it specially hit me because I am Persian (Iranian). Other wise, since I am 11 I didnt get the one w/ the demo truck and the woman in UK nor the Berlin Wall one even though I know like what it represents and all. And one thing that was pretty cool that my aunt actually painted the girl in the Afghan refugee camp. The Vietanm corpse in the truck picture really made me sad….. it just broke my heart thinking about what human does these day, and not to be racist, but what Americans do….even though they do good in war, but they also kill innocent people. The Persian woman firing guns really brought to me what my people go through…

  140. allah_z_ga says

    I can’t believe that the Japanese girl running after the hydrogen bomb attack(s) in Japan. That pict is burned into my mind. Also is the Earthrise photo of the Earth comming up over the moon’s horizon.

  141. Wolfie says

    This list is incomplete without Jim Rosenthal’s picture of the flag raising on Iwo Jima. It gave the nation a sign of hope, that victory was possible.

  142. Wolfie says

    This list is incomplete without Jim Rosenthal’s picture of the flag raising on Iwo Jima. It gave the nation a sign of hope, that victory was possible. That photograph should never be forgotten.

  143. saz says

    I liked that you missed out a few i thought would be in there but they really are photos that changed the world.
    i think you need to work on your political correctness and manner of speaking especially in the realism of these photos

    Sarah 20 Oxford UK

  144. Sonartica says

    This is the internet people, we always hear people going “fugly” or “this is gay”. We just have to appreciate what we’re shown and let the plebs squabble for themselves, instead of getting shitty about it. Beautiful picture of the Afghani girl, I’m glad it was included.

  145. l says

    Comment by BKS — June 22, 2007 @ 5:41 pm
    My God, how ignorant can you people be, not all of you thank you but most of the comments left on here reflect a really poor, uneducated and disgusting attitude toward other cultures… I say get out of your cow-town and travel the world so maybe you can get an understanding that there are other things out there than baseball and Hot Dogs.
    What a bunch of morons….how sad.How embarrassing!”

    Comment by Jasmina — June 22, 2007 @ 6:26 am
    “I like how Persian woman are suddenly ugly, yet you’ve probably never seen one. It just like dim witted opinion that all Swedish woman are beautiful tall blonds. And all Russian woman are big and husky and you cant tell the difference between them and their husbands, except for the Russian woman who are blond and smoke cigarettes, that are in all the bond movies. Way to think american”

    What do you expect? Most Americans are ignorant, intolerant fools and proud of it. Truly sickening.

  146. Alex says

    I beleive the ‘persian women’ is actually a photo from Andy McNab’s ‘Immediate Action’, where during target practice, it was the best way for the soldiers to keep cool in the desert heat. I can’t dig out my old copy but I’m pretty damn postive!

  147. zipil says

    there is a big book of stuff like this called centery it’s got some very good pics and some very gore ones

  148. nunya says

    These pictures are AMAZING. I love the one with the girl and the chalkboard. The one with the girl in front of the tank is really interesting… If I didn’t know better I would say it was photoshopped. Really cool pics!

  149. says

    dude the pics with the persian watever “gurls” isnt girls they are most definitly guys thank you. any way why does this point matter anyway? w/e

  150. Laura says

    I didn’t take the time to go through ALL of the comments, and I am saddened by those that I did see. Some are more concerned with pointing out what they see as “errors” such as no, that’s a woman, not a man, dissing on nationalities, etc. Those pictures ARE very compelling. It matters not that the description may or may not be exact. What matters is that these are events in this world’s history that if we don’t learn from them (concentration camps, death in the street,etc) then we are doomed to repeat them.

    I grew up in the 50′s & 60′s and still remember how those events have affected me.

    God Bless Us All

  151. nicolai Saka says

    The discussion over whether the veiled people shooting seems childish but really does have a bearing on this discussion. If they are men this is just another group of strangely dressed men, if women it is in fact the idealistic, empowering photo the author describes it as. And forgive me but what is the story behind the New Brighton photo? I’m curious….
    the comments are just as revealing of human nature as the photos are. There are a few who are trying to have an intelligent conversation…. and a few less mature people trying to voice their opinion on Iraqi women, American behavior or >insert any racist, ignorant or cotroversial comment here<. That ISNT the point, someone has gone through some effort to try to cure us of our ignorance of the injustice, pain, cruelty and suffering we inflict on one another.

  152. ..m says

    The last photo is by far the best, i think its outstanding how 1 person can make a big difference to many people. We have too much self respect, it must have took the man standing infront of all them tanks alot of courage to do that.. he has so much passion for what he believes and it is breathtaking to witness such a thing. He knew that he would obviously get killed for it but he wanted to make a difference and was willing to sacrifice his life for standing up for what he believed in.

    People should wake up and look the hell around.

    1 world,1 god, millions of people.

    Peace is nothing but a dream until an everyday ‘saviour’ decides to change the past, present and most importantly the future for the better.

    Believe it or not i am only a typical 14 year old, doing what most tean agers do, out late at night, messing around in class but all in all.. who doen’t want world peace?


  153. says

    this is crazy but some of it so true im glad that one gut i forgot his name he made a speech that blacks and whites should like each other and be together

  154. Stunned says

    This was beautiful.

    The picture of the girl from a concentration camp was indeed mind-blowing. I almost burst into tears upon seeing it. That poor baby. It breaks my heart. There are no words to describe the feelings I get from that picture. Her face, the drawing, everything… It just summed the Holocaust up so well into one picture, the suffering from that girl. Bless her soul.

    My favorite was the picture of the counterculture woman in front of the National Guard. It was an almost enjoyably enlightening example of the clashing between the government and the people. Her free spirit, holding a flower in her hand with such a peaceful expression, blockading the Guard, with their determined faces and weapons. It almost sort of filled me with a sensation of hope.

    I also was realli intruiged by the photograph of the men who had been caught crossing the border. The landscape is almost surreal. The soft textures and colors and the beautiful clouds make it seem like a peaceful painting. And right in the middle of it, an ugly helicopter obscures the scene. The thing that caught me the most, though, was the sort of grace the one man, in the purple jacket, has. Maybe the were violently sruggling, but it almost seems like it was happening in slow motion.

    The last one with the tanks was inspiring beyond words. His will to protest was so strong, I would consider him a true hero. He was a brave man.

    I loved this so much, Thank you for posting it.

  155. Ali says

    Impressive photos, especially Martin Luther King’s photo and Afghan girl and Tank Man. thanks.

    About Iranian(Iran’s ancient name is Persia) women photo. they’re really women. But there’s no matter if you’re a man or a woman, ugly or beautiful, have mustaches or not! When your country is under attack everyone would join to defend his/her country. The picture is taken in 1986, in 6th year of Saddam’s attack on Iran. This war really took long, not one or two months or even one or two year; It took 8 years. Also in those years terrorist groups had messed up the country. Imagine what you would do if this happens to your own country.

  156. dan tan says

    i liked the photos they saddened and inspired me, my friends call me there friends

  157. L.K. says

    Wow. The one that got me most was the little girl from the contration camp who was drawing her version of home. That one will stay with me.


  158. Jane Doe says

    why are you all arguing the gender of the pictures, the outcome of the people involved…these pictures changed the world, hence the title of this website. regardless of gender, economic value, where they are now, they became not only a picture, they exceeded their intentions into legacies…apreciate that…beautiful pictures

  159. says

    hello everybody! Ive seen some of this pictures in an exhibition in the museum of fine arts (hungary)at budapest- called soul and body. they were really awe-inspiring… i love the magnum photographers. this is that kind of art, which can tell, show something about the world’s suffering.
    peace my sisters and brothers.

  160. hihi says

    fyi, arabic woman are damn pretty, because they all covered up, so yall didnt see their face…infact it is hard to see them without the hijab that cover their face…but if u see throughly, their eyes and their nose and their mouth.,, they are darn pretty…

  161. Peggy says

    You sad americans scare me. How can you live your life in a big bubble, not even aware of that you all live in a dictatorship? Most of you haven’t even any knowledge of other countries, and so you have nothing to compare with.

    Not exactlty the land of the free, but the land of oblivience.

    Sad, so sad..

  162. Ned says

    Peggy, “oblivience” is not a word, moron.

    Sad, so sad, when stupid people try to be profound.


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