These are just some of the winning entries from the World Press Photo Competition, on display at the Royal Festival Hall from next week.
World Press Photo has held this competition of press photographer’s work annually since 1955. The accompanying exhibition is seen by more than 2 million people across more than 50 countries each year.
The London leg of the exhibition is at the Royal Festival Hall, and showcases work from photographers from 23 different countries, selected from more than 108,000 entries. The winning photos cover everything from the horrors of war to sport, arts and the natural world. Look out for the Overview of Our World section, featuring that stunning World Press Photo of the Year by South African photographer Jodi Bieber.
If you don’t know it already, here’s the story behind that winning shot:
Bibi Aisha, 18, was disfigured as retribution for fleeing her husband’s house in Oruzgan province, in the centre 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 at her house one night demanding that she be handed over to be punished for running away. Aisha was taken to a mountain clearing, where she was held down, and first had her ears sliced off, and then her nose. In local culture, a man who has been shamed by his wife is said to have lost his nose, and such treatment is considered punishment in kind.
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, where she received counseling and reconstructive surgery.
The exhibition is open every day from 10am until 11pm, and entrance is free.
The World Press Photo Exhibition is on Level 2 at the Royal Festival Hall in the Southbank Centre from 11 to 29 November. Visit southbankcentre.co.uk/world-press-photo for more information.