South African photographer wins World Press Photo crown (update)

February 11, 2011

South African photographer Jodi Bieber has won World Press Photo of the Year 2010 with a shocking portrait of an Afghan woman who was brutally mutilated by her husband.

Bieber – who is only the second South African to win the award – triumphed with a portrait of Bibi Aisha, a young woman who fled her husband in Afghanistan, complaining of violent treatment.

A spokesman for the contest’s organisers described what happened next: ‘The Taliban arrived one night, demanding Bibi be handed over to face justice.

‘After a Taliban commander pronounced his verdict, Bibi’s brother-in-law held her down and her husband sliced off her ears and then cut off her nose.

The 18-year-old was abandoned but later rescued by aid workers and the US military.

She was then taken to the US for counselling and reconstructive surgery.

‘This could become one of those pictures… where if somebody says “you know, that picture of a girl”, you know exactly which one they are talking about,’ said David Burnett, chair of the World Press Photo judging panel.

Picture credit: Jodi Bieber/Institute for Artist Management/Goodman Gallery for Time magazine

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