Freedom of expression through photography

In October 2021 Pexels launched a photo challenge in partnership with Amnesty International asking photographers to address the theme of Freedom of Expression. The response was huge, with over 30,000 entries from all over the world, visualising the right to express thoughts and opinions freely through photography.

Here we showcase the 3 winning entries, and share with you a selection of the top images submitted!

1st place

“The man holds on his back a heavy burden of depression, social injustice (racism, police brutality), and to some extent the pressure to”be a loyal citizen (with obligations to the nation that does not protect him).

“The man is shirtless to show some level of vulnerability (exposure to elements) and the act of being stripped of his rights. The background is a blue sky to show hope despite the tough times he is going through (because I always believe our struggles will eventually bear fruit even if it’s for the next generation).” – Teddy Tavan, Kenya

2nd place

“I took this photo in the middle of the strongest mobilization that Colombia had experienced in the recent years. November 2019 marked a protest that led youth to the streets, unions, universities and workers of Colombia to ask the Government for help, including solutions for public education.

“The protests lasted several months and it was on January 20, 2020 at 17:15 that I found the moment to freeze a moment between the protesters and the Esmad (Mobile Anti-riot Squad) in Bogota, Colombia.” Danilo Arenas – Colombia

3rd place

“Starting from a desire to refresh the mind in the open, me and two of my friends tried to express a complaint that was in our hearts: boredom for the past three years makes me want to move and create interesting works.” – Mochammad Algi, Indonesia

The best of the rest


To view a wider selection, visit the Pexels page.