The winner of the 2010 World Press Photo Contest has just been announced as South African Jodi Bieber. Her winning image is of Bibi Aisha, an 18 year old Afghani woman whose face was mutilated by her husband and brother-in-law after she fled their violent treatment but was subsequently tracked down by the Taliban. The picture featured on the 1 August edition of Time magazine.
According to David Burnett, who chaired the judging panel: ‘This could become one of those pictures – and we have maybe just ten in our lifetime – where if somebody says “you know, that picture of a girl…”, you know exactly which one they’re talking about.’
It’s an astonishingly dignified portrait of something entirely horrid. As judge Aidan Sullivan put it: ‘…this photo makes people ask “What on earth…?” “What’s going on…?” “What has happened…?”‘
Bieber’s image took the prize in the portrait category of the awards, as well as the overall award. She’s only the second South African to take the top prize, but she’s won eight other World Press Photo awards before now. And no, she’s not related to Justin!
As for Bibi Aisha; she fled again after her nose and ears were sliced off, spent time in a women’s refuge in Kabul before moving to the US, where she’s undergone reconstructive surgery.
Take a look at the World Press Photo website for some of the other entries.
(Photo: Jodi Bieber, Institute for Artist Management/Goodman Gallery for Time magazine.)