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Monday, 22 April 2019 11:56 pm

Latest World Press Photo exhibition is snapshot of the world

THE Haiti earthquake, WikiLeaks, red shirt protests in Thailand, Google street view – it all happened in 2010, and is documented in the World Press Photo exhibition coming to Wellington this month.

The World Press Photo of the Year 2010, a portrait of Bibi Aisha. IMAGE: Jodi Beiber/Time

In Wellington from August 13 to September 6, the exhibition features over 350 photos of the tragedies, wonders and oddities of 2010.

 More than 100,000 images were entered in the Netherlands-based contest, resulting in the exhibition which is showing the work of just 54 photographers.

Starting in the Netherlands in April, 2011, their photos are travelling the world, going to 100 different cities, including Wellington and Tauranga.

The show winds up in Israel next year.The winning World Press Photo of the Year – described by one judge as “the picture that asked the most important questions” – is a portrait of 18-year-old Afghan woman Bibi Aisha, who had her ears and nose cut off as punishment for leaving her husband.

Winning photographer Jodi Beiber says in an interview that people often switch off to images of destruction.

“The reason why people are affected by that image is you see Aisha the woman first, and then you see what happens to her. For me, you could relate, because you saw the woman first.”

Mike Hutchings captured this moment at the World Cup semi-final, Uruguay vs. Netherlands. IMAGE: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

 The image was taken at an Afghan women’s shelter  for a Time Magazine assignment.

“I spoke to her from one girl to another, and I said that she’s very beautiful and I’d like to do a portrait of where maybe she can be in touch with her inner beauty,” says Ms Beiber.

“I could never understand what it would be like to be pinned down and have your nose and ears cut off.

“But maybe she could just think in her mind of something beautiful and just feel an inner peace, and that’s when she looked at me and I took the photograph.”

The exhibition also includes images from the football world cup in South Africa, refugee camps in Algeria, and a collection of screenshots from Google street view featuring people in violent or compromising positions.

The World Press Photo exhibition is at the Academy of Fine Arts, 1 Queens Wharf.  Opening hours are 10am to 7pm, with a $5 entry fee.

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