South African photographer Jodi Bieber has won the highest accolade for the 54th annual World Press Photo competition, announced today in Amsterdam, for her stunning picture of a beautiful Afghan girl, Bibi, whose ears and nose have been violently mutilated.
The image will be immediately recognisable to most, having emblazoned the front cover of Time magazine last summer, sparking huge media interest in Bibi's story and her subsequent move to the US for reconstructive surgery.
The competition's jury chair, David Burnett, remarked: ‘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.’
Bieber will add the premier award from this year's competition to her collection of 8 previous World Press Photo gongs.
The jury also gave prizes in 9 themed categories to 56 photographers after a record 108,000 images were submitted for consideration.