'Untraditional' photo wins Bieber award

2011-02-11 16:03
  South African Jodi Bieber has won the presitigious World Press Photo of the Year 2010 for her image of Bibi Aisha, 18, from Oruzgan province in Afghanistan.

South African Jodi Bieber has won the presitigious World Press Photo of the Year 2010 for her image of Bibi Aisha, 18, from Oruzgan province in Afghanistan.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – Although she has previously won eight category awards at the World Press Photo competition, winning the main award still came as a surprise for South African photographer Jodi Bieber on Friday.

Bieber took top honours for her powerful portrait of Bibi Aisha, a young Afghan woman whose ears and nose had been cut off by her abusive husband after she had left him.

"I didn't feel confident," Bieber told News24, pointing out that the picture which graced the cover of the August 9 2010 issue of Time magazine was not only facing tough competition, but also because it was not a "traditional" one.

"Women in situations like that are almost always portrayed as vulnerable. In this one Aisha is looking quite defiant," said the photographer.

A sentiment expressed by the competition's judges.

"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," Ruth Eichhorn, one of the competition's judges, told Reuters.

'Inner power'

Bieber who had been commissioned by Time to take photographs of a "whole variety" of Afghan women (including "the Oprah of Afghanistan") attributed the relative ease with which she was able to connect with Aisha to her experience working with South African women in difficult situations.

"It was like two girls having a chat," Bieber said of some moments she and Aisha had a conversation during the photo shoot.

" 'You are so beautiful, and this is what I want to capture. Your power, your inner power'," Bieber told Aisha through an interpreter.

But while the picture has come to represent the fight for women's rights in Afghanistan, at times the response wasn't always good.

The photograph (and the story), which was accompanied by the headline "What happens if we leave Afghanistan" came under fire from some sections of society who perceived it as the exploitation of Aisha's situation to advance the case for the presence of US forces in Afghanistan.

But for Bieber, it went beyond the politics of war: "To talk (about this) is very easy for someone who is sitting in an armchair, who hasn't had their ears and nose cut off."

Proudly South African

According to Bieber, at the time the photograph was taken Aisha had been waiting for her visa to be approved so she could leave the Kabul shelter she was living in and head for the US where she believed she could be safe from her family and where she had an infinitely better chance at reconstructing her brutalised face.

And the attention that followed seems to have helped her plight.  

Late last year Aisha started receiving free constructive surgery from the Grossman Burn Foundation in California and now has a new nose.

"I feel fantastic, I feel very, very happy. I feel very proud as a South African," Bieber  told News24.

Read more on:    afghanistan  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Cape Town 17:21 PM
Road name: De Waal Drive Outbound

DELAYS between Roeland Street and Hospital Bend

Stellenbosch 17:21 PM
Road name: R310 Baden Powell Drive Westbound

DELAYS towards Annandale Road

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 30% off top fragrances

Get mind blowing savings on selected fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today you may want to bond with your children and need to connect to your imaginative and playful side. It may be that you are...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.