“I am excited and look forward to representing the Abuse is Abuse campaign as an ambassador against abuse,” says world acclaimed South African photographer Jodi Bieber. Jodi will act as an ambassador for the campaign aimed at raising awareness of abuse and highlighting the importance of taking action against all forms of abuse. The Abuse is Abuse campaign was started by Sappi, Childline and the NSPCA to raise awareness that all forms of abuse are wrong – whether human, animal or environmental. As evident in a large number of her photographs, Bieber has strong feelings against abuse. Her recent award-winning photo of Bibi Aisha which appeared on the cover of Time Magazine advocates
Bibi Aisha, 18, was disfigured as retribution for fleeing her husband’s house in Oruzgan province, in the center of Afghanistan. At the age of 12, Aisha and her younger sister had been given to the family of a Taliban fighter under a Pashtun tribal custom for settling disputes. When she reached puberty she was married to him, but she later returned to her parents’ home, complaining of violent treatment by her in-laws. Men arrived there one night demanding that she be handed over to be punished for running away.
Aisha was taken to a mountain clearing, where, at the orders of a Taliban commander, she was held down and had first her ears sliced off, then her nose. In local culture, a man who has been shamed by his wife is said to have lost his nose, and this is seen as punishment in return. Aisha was abandoned, but later rescued and taken to a shelter in Kabul run by the aid organization Women for Afghan Women, where she was given treatment and psychological help. After time in the refuge, she was taken to America to receive further counseling and reconstructive surgery. She now has a new nose.
“Jodi Bieber’s photography highlights the horror of abuse and our need to fight against it,” says Andre Oberholzer, group head: corporate affairs Sappi. “It is only by exposing all forms of abuse to the harsh light of public awareness that abuse can be stopped. We are excited and honoured to have Jodi onboard. This is an exciting new development in our drive to raise awareness and to motivate society to take action against abuse,” he says. You can make a donation to the Bibi Aisha Fund.
Image of Bibi Aisha courtesy of Institute for Artist Management/Goodman Gallery for Time magazine. In February 2011 this photo won Jodi Bieber the main award at the Word Press Photo Awards. The Photography category on Running Wolf’s Rant is updated daily. Watch this space for daily updates in the Daily Cool Photo section as well as the Photo Albums section on the blog. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here. Feel free to comment on anything that you might find interesting.