A portrait of 18-year-old Afghan Bibi Aisha, whose nose and ears were cut off by the Taliban husband she'd fled, is the subject of the World Press Photo organization's 2010 Photo of the Year. South African photographer Jodi Bieber's picture, made for Time magazine, became controversial when it appeared on that publication's cover in July 2010.
(See another picture of Bibi Aisha and other Afghan women "fighting for a just life.")
"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," said jury chair David Burnett in a statement on the winning photo.
When photographing Aisha in an Afghan women's shelter, "I really wanted to capture the inner beauty," Bieber told World Press Photo when contacted by phone after the jury's decision, according to a press statement.
For the awards, an international team of judges selected winners in ten subject areas, including spot and general news, sports, nature, and portraits, for which Bieber's image also took first prize. In each subject area, the judges awarded first, second, and third prizes for both individual photos and photo-essays. This year a "special mention" was given to a series of 12 photos taken by the Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days and rescued in October.
A record 108,059 pictures were submitted for this year's contest by 5,847 photographers representing 125 nationalities.
(Read more about Afghan women's "veiled rebellion"—from National Geographic magazine.)
—Korena Di Roma