Photos: World Press Photo awards

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  1. World Press Photo of the year

    Jodi Bieber, an Institute for Artist Management photographer based in South Africa, won the World Press Photo of the Year 2010 with this picture of 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 U.S. 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 U.S.

    Discuss the winning picture on Photoblog (Jodi Bieber / Institute for Artist Management for Time magazine) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Daily life: India

    Martin Roemers, a Panos Pictures photographer based in the Netherlands, won the 1st Prize Daily Life Stories category with the series "Metropolis". The picture shows an urban scene in Calcutta, India. The prize-winning entries of the World Press Photo Contest 2010, the world's largest annual press photography contest, were announced on February 11, 2011. Organizers said 108,059 images -- a record -- were submitted for this year's contest. A total of 5,847 photographers took part, representing 125 different nationalities. (Martin Roemers / Panos Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Nature: Japan

    Stefano Unterthiner, a National Geographic magazine photographer based in Italy, won the 2nd Prize Nature Stories category with this picture of Whooper Swans at dawn, taken in Hokkaido, Japan, in January. (Stefano Unterthiner / National Geographic) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. General news: Haiti

    Riccardo Venturi, a Contrasto photographer based in Italy, won the 1st Prize General News Single category with this picture of the Old Iron Market burning in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, taken January 18.

    Follow msnbc_pictures on twitter (Riccardo Venturi / Contrasto) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Contemporary issues: Vietnam

    Ed Kashi, a VII Photo photographer based in the U.S., won the 2nd Prize Contemporary Issues Single category with this picture of Nguyen Thi Ly, 9, who suffers from Agent Orange disabilities, in Da Nang, Vietnam. (Ed Kashi / VII Photo) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Portraits

    Wolfram Hahn, a freelance photographer based in Germany, won the 2nd Prize Portraits Stories category with a series entitled "self-portraits for social networks". (Wolfram Hahn / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. People in the news: Pakistan

    Daniel Berehulak, a Getty Images photographer based in Australia, won the 1st Prize People In The News Stories category with this picture of flood victims scrambling for food as they battle the downwash from a Pakistan army helicopter during relief operations in Dadu, Pakistan, taken September 13. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

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    Sports: Spain

    This picture by Gustavo Cuevas, an EFE photographer based in Spain, won 2nd Prize Singles Sports. The picture shows Spanish bullfighter Julio Aparicio being gored by a bull during a bullfight at Las Ventas, Madrid, on May 21. (Gustavo Cuevas / EFE) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Daily Life: Bangladesh

    Andrew Biraj, a Reuters photographer based in Bangladesh, won the 3rd Prize Daily Life Single category with this picture of an overcrowded train approaching a station in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on November 16. (Andrew Biraj / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Arts and entertainment: Italy

    Davide Monteleone, a Contrasto photographer based in Italy, has won the 2nd Prize in the Arts and Entertainment Single category with this picture of the Milan Fashion Week: Valeria Marini show. (Davide Monteleone / Contrasto for The New York Times Style Magazine) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Portraits: Russia

    Joost van den Broek, a de Volkskrant photographer based in the Netherlands, won the 2nd Prize Portraits Single category for this photo of Kirill Lewerski , a cadet on Russian tall ship Kruzenshtern. (Joost van den Broek / de Volkskrant) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

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    General news: Haiti

    Olivier Laban-Mattei, an Agence France-Presse photographer based in France, won the 1st prize General News Stories category with this picture of a man throwing a dead body at the morgue of the general hospital in Port-au-Prince, taken January 15. (Olivier Laban-Mattei / AFP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Arts and entertainment: DR Congo

    Andrew McConnell, a Panos Pictures photographer based in Ireland and Kenya, won the 1st prize Arts and Entertainment Singles category for this picture of 37-year-old Josephine Mpongo practicing the cello in the Kimbanguiste neighbourhood of Kinshasa, DR Congo. Mpongo plays with the Kimbanguiste Symphony Orchestra, which practices here 5 days per week. (Andrew McConnell / Panos Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. People in the news: Julian Assange

    Seamus Murphy, a VII Photo photographer based in Ireland, won the 2nd Prize People In The News Single category with this picture of Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, taken September 30. (Seamus Murphy / VII Photo) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Sports: Singapore

    Adam Pretty, a Getty Images photographer based in Australia, won the 1st Prize Sport Stories with Sports Portfolio category. In this picture, Thomas Daley of Great Britain competes in the preliminary of the men's 3M springboard diving event during the Youth Olympics at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex, Singapore, taken August 22. (Adam Pretty / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Nature: Indonesia

    Christophe Archambault, an Agence France-Presse photographer, won the 3rd prize Nature Stories category. This picture shows a man smoking a cigarette as he keeps himself warm in the ash-covered village of Cemoro Lawang near the active Mount Bromo volcano in the east of Indonesia's central Java island. (Christophe Archambault / AFP) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

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  2. Editor's note:
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  3. Editor's note:
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msnbc.com news services
updated 2/11/2011 1:24:52 PM ET 2011-02-11T18:24:52

A South African photographer's portrait of an Afghan woman whose husband sliced off her nose and ears in a case of Taliban-administered justice won the World Press Photo award for 2010, one of the industry's most coveted prizes.

Bibi Aisha, an 18-year-old woman from Oruzgan province in Afghanistan, left her husband  complaining of domestic violence. A Taliban commander ordered that she face justice and her husband cut off her nose and ears. She now lives in the United States where she had reconstructive surgery.

Jodi Bieber's posed picture, which contrasts the woman's arresting beauty with the violence done to her, was published on the cover of Time magazine on Aug. 1.

Bieber, 44, a winner of eight previous World Press Photo awards since 1998, is a freelance photojournalist affiliated with the Institute for Artist Management/Goodman Gallery. She has published two books on her native South Africa.

Jury members said the photo, though shocking, was chosen because it addresses violence against women with a dignified image. The woman, 18-year-old Bibi Aisha, was rescued by the U.S. military and now lives in America.

"This could become one of those pictures — and we have maybe just 10 in our lifetime — where if somebody says 'you know, that picture of a girl' — you know exactly which one they're talking about," said jury chairman David Burnett of Contact Press.

The picture also evokes the iconic 1984 National Geographic photograph of a beautiful young Afghan woman with a piercing gaze.

Terrific, different, frightening
Time's publication of the picture provoked international debate over the ethics of publishing — or not publishing — such a disturbing image.

"It's a terrific picture, a different picture, a frightening picture," said Juror Vince Aletti, an American freelance critic. "It's so much about not just this particular woman, but the state of women in the world."

"It's an incredibly strong image. It sends out an enormously powerful message to the world, about the 50 percent 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," said Ruth Eichhorn, one of the judges, in a statement.

In a video commentary on Time's website, Bieber said, "It was more about capturing something about her — and that was the difficult part." She said she did not want to portray Aisha as a victim. "I thought, no, this woman is beautiful."

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Aisha posed for the Time cover photo because she wanted readers to see the potential consequences of a Taliban resurgence, the magazine said when it was published.

Although established photo agencies and press bureaus won a fair share of honors for 2010, a trend toward freelancers and unaffiliated photographers continued to grow.

"Any photographer anywhere with a laptop and a camera is competing with every other photographer in the world," Burnett said. "A lot of the best work is done by photographers who went out and did it on their own. They didn't wait to be sent."

Amateur photographers recognized
In addition, in a world mobile phones have cameras, he said it's inevitable that amateur photographers will be the only ones to record some events.

In acknowledgment of that, the jury gave special mention to a 12-picture series made by the miners trapped for 69 days some 766 yards underground in Chile's San Jose mine before they were rescued on Oct. 13.

"The whole point of a photo is that somebody had to see it and be there," Burnett said.

Getty Images and Panos each won in five categories, while Reuters had three and The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse each had two.

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Daniel Morel won first place in the Spot News Stories category for his series on the Jan. 12 earthquake and its immediate aftermath. He also took second place in the Spot News Singles category for an image of a woman trapped under rubble being rescued.

Morel is also involved in a legal dispute over the republication of his photos by news outlets after he put them on a website. Someone else spotted them, claimed ownership, and they were used by AFP.

AP photographer Altaf Qadri won first prize in the People in the News category for a shot of mourners at the funeral of Feroz Ahmad, who was killed in September when Indian police opened fired on pro-independence demonstrators in Indian-administered Kashmir.

AP's Vincent Yu of Hong Kong took third place in the same category for a photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and his son Kim Jong Un together in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Oct. 10.

In all, 56 photographers of 23 nationalities won prizes. They competed among a record pool of 108,059 photos by 5,847 photographers participating from 125 countries.

Bieber, the overall winner, also won first place in the portraits category for the same photo. She will receive a cash prize of euro10,000 ($13,500) in a ceremony later this year.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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