International competition: “Icon of 30 Years – Freedom and Solidarity”



We are seeking a photographic “Icon of 30 Years”

This year, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the turning point year of ’89 in Poland. Together with photographers, we are looking for a picture that will serve as a symbol of these three decades of change.
The iconic photograph may relate to a single event, a social process, a person or a group of people, a space, or to architecture or culture. We are seeking something that symbolically encapsulates these changes.
Our invitation to this quest is aimed at photographers in Poland and abroad, photographic agencies, as well as heirs of photographers who are no longer with us. We appreciate that it may well require much labour: searching through archives and perhaps even discovering yet unpublished photographs. But at the end of this quest, we want to be able to select an icon that will also serve to stimulate discussions on recent history.
The “Icon of 30 Years” will be chosen by an international jury. The winner’s prize will be 30,000 zl (approx. €7,000), and will include promotion of the picture in Poland and around the world.
The joint organisers of the competition are Dom Spotkań z Historią [History Meeting House] and Press Club Polska. The “Icon of 30 Years” competition is being held under the patronage of the International Association of Press Clubs (IAPC).

We will accept entries up to 23:59 hrs Central European Time (CET) on 13 May 2019.


Bruno Barbey
Magnum Photos
Anna Brzezińska
History Meeting House
Kasia Madera
BBC World News
Katarzyna Madoń-Mitzner
History Meeting House
Maciek Nabrdalik
VII Photo
Thomas Szlukovenyi
Thomson Reuters
Jarosław Włodarczyk
Press Club Polska


History Meeting House

The History Meeting House (DSH) is a cultural institution in Warsaw. Our main focus is on the history of Central and Eastern Europe, Poland and Warsaw, during the 20th century.

We organise exhibitions, often based on unknown photos, debates, discussion cycles dealing with the history of Warsaw as well as presentations of feature and documentary films, educational workshops, seminars and conferences. We are also involved in publishing and our bookshop contains a wide range of publications relating to the 20th century. DSH promotes history through various sources and personal testimonies.

Along with the KARTA Centre, it runs the Oral History Archive: the largest collection in Poland that presents the records from direct witnesses, which have been amassed, compiled and shared. We also digitise photographs, documents and films.


Press Club Polska

Press Club Polska is a professional organisation of media people, with the aim of supporting journalists, improving their profession and safeguarding citizens’ rights to reliable information.

It is intended for all who are actually performing the journalist profession and for people who are professionally associated with the media. The Press Club organises its activities around three pillars: education, information and integration.

Press Club Poland organises many journalism awards, including “The Dariusz Fikus Award for Journalism of the Highest Order”, “The Maciej Płażyński Award for Journalists and Media that Serve Polish Communities Abroad” and the Economic Journalism Award.

Press Club Polska is a member of the International Association of Press Clubs and the European Press Club Federation. Press Club Polska has been in existence since 2009.



Rules for the competition: “Icon of 30 Years – Freedom and Solidarity”

The History Meeting House and Press Club Polska, referred to below as Joint Organisers, have conceived and announce a photographic competition titled “Icon of 30 Years – Freedom and Solidarity”, referred to below as the Competition. The Competition is associated with the anniversary of the pivotal year of 1989

Aim of the Competition

The aim of the Competition is to single out a photograph that will become a symbol epitomising the three decades of change that began with the events of 1989.


The organiser of technical part of the Competition is Press Club Polska. The Competition’s Organisational Office is located in Warsaw, at Al. Ujazdowskie 6A, post code 00-461.


Any professional press photographer, that person’s heirs, editor or photographic agency, referred to below as Participant, may submit a Competition entry. Each Participant may submit up to five (5) individual photographs. Submissions may only be made using the electronic entry form available on the website. Entries will be anonymised by the Organiser before their submission to the Jury.


The winner’s prize is PLN 30,000. In the event that the Competition is won by a photographer who is deceased, the Prize will be paid to that person’s heirs. If the heirs have not been established and inheritance proceedings are pending in their regard, the Prize will be paid out after their final and valid completion. If the heirs are not known, the Organiser will make an appeal, through one announcement in a national journal, for eligible persons to report within three months to collect the Award, substantiating their rights with appropriate documents. If an entitled person fails to get in contact by the expected date, this will give the Joint Organisers the right to assign the Prize to some other suitable cause at the discretion of the Joint Organisers.


The winner will be selected by the Jury. At the beginning of its meeting, the members of the Jury select a Chairperson of the Jury from among themselves. Representatives of the Joint Organisers may attend a meeting of the Jury to provide organisational and technical assistance, but without the right to vote. The Jury has the right not to award the Prize.


The Jury makes its decisions at a meeting by voting. Each member of the Jury has one vote. The Chairperson of the Jury organises the voting.

The winning entry is the one that obtains the largest number of votes. In the event of that two or more photographs obtain an equal number of votes, the winning entry is then selected in subsequent rounds from those entries that obtained the highest equal number of votes and so on, until a winner has been selected.


Acceptance of Competition entries: 15 April 2019 – 13 May 2019.

Meeting of the jury and selection of the winner: 14 – 28 May in Warsaw.

Announcement of the results and award of the prize: 30 May – 4 June in Warsaw.

Final provisions

In the event of winning the Competition, the person or entity that has submitted the photograph undertakes to collect the prize personally (or through a representative appointed in writing) at a special prize-giving ceremony.

Submission of a work to the Competition is tantamount to a declaration that the candidate owns the copyright to the entered work and that the entered work does not infringe rights of third parties and that the dissemination of the work will not infringe the image protection right of persons shown.

Submission of a work to the Competition is tantamount to granting the joint organisers of the Competition (History Meeting House, Press Club Poland) with indefinite free-of-charge use (a non-exclusive licence) of the winning photograph, with no territorial restrictions, in print, audio and video form and on the internet, in all activities and publications associated with the Competition.

The Prize will be subject to tax in accordance with Polish law.

Matters that are not covered by the Rules will be decided by the Jury.

No procedure is available for any appeals.


The deadline for entries has expired.


Competition Organiser’s Office

The Competition Organiser’s Office is located in Press Club Polska

Aleje Ujazdowskie 6A
00-461 Warsaw


Icon of 30 Years competition's logo

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