World Press Photo Of The Year

I’m a bit behind the curve on this, but the image above is too arresting not to post here. Last month The World Press Photo jury announced their winners for best press photos from 2010. The overall winner was the image you see above by nine time winner Jodi Bieber, a photographer from South Africa, and was shot for the cover of Time. The back story is just as horrifying as you probably imagine:

Her winning picture shows Bibi Aisha, an 18-year-old woman from Oruzgan province in Afghanistan, who fled back to her family home from her husband’s house, complaining of violent treatment. 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. Bibi was abandoned, but later rescued by aid workers and the American military. After time in a women’s refuge in Kabul, she was taken to America, where she received counseling and reconstructive surgery. Bibi Aisha now lives in the US.

Juror Ruth Eichorn said of the picture:

It’s an incredibly strong image. It sends out an enormously powerful message to the world, about the 50% of the population that are women, so many of whom still live in miserable conditions, suffering violence. It is strong because the woman looks so dignified, iconic.

Via lens culture

3 Responses to “World Press Photo Of The Year”

  1. jont Says:

    I find this all rather distastful in the context of the original cover.,8599,2007269,00.html

    Many have taken issue with the fact that the cover’s very leading headline states that this is “what happens if [America and it’s allies] leave Afghanistan.” While really it’s a photo of what happened while American forces were in Afghanistan.

    Now whether the associated copy that ran should be taken into account when judging the photo is debatable. But since all awards ceremonies are known to be political and the image was produced to serve a cover that boldly shits on the face of objectivity, what conclusions should be made?

    Some more background:

  2. Bearfoot Says:

    @joint>> And I personally find it distasteful that you boil down the mutilation of a woman to politics.

    Truth is that the Taliban did this, irregardless if we were there or not we are not responsible for that. could it have been prevented?

    Maybe. I wasn’t there. Playing armchair quarterback is easy when you don’t have any involvement.

  3. Jont Says:

    Fair enough, I just feel that the editorial intent behind a work of journalism is worth mentioning if you intend to discuss that work. There are far more interesting words written on this subject than mine, so I’ll leave it there.