WITH VIDEO: Celebrated photographer Jodi Bieber brings her work to Johannesburg

by Zelmarie Goosen and Tracey Ruff

Jodi Bieber has travelled the world sharing her photojournalism work but has hardly exhibited in her native country. Tonight she opens an exhibition at the Wits Arts Museum in Johannesburg entitled Between Darkness and Light.

“I’ve hardly exhibited my work in South Africa, so it’s a real treat for me,” says Bieber in an exclusive interview with Wits Vuvuzela.

The photographer is internationally renowned for her photograph of Bibi Aisha – an Afghan woman who had her nose and ears severed off, and left for dead, by her husband and his family. Bieber won the World Press Photo Award in 2010 for that photograph.

VIDEO: Watch as Jodi Bieber speaks about her latest photographic exhibition in the Wits Arts Museum. 


Shedding light on the darkness

Between Darkness and Light is an exhibition of Bieber’s selected works from 1994 to 2011. She describes her collection, which includes 10 projects, as “moving between darkness and light”.

“My first body of works, are much darker than the recent bodies of work.”

She attributes this “psychological” darkness to a time of loss and sorrow in the early 1990s when she started working for The Star newspaper. This difficult period in her life led her to “delving into things that were a little bit dark, like the youth living on the fringes of society”.

Jodi speaks passionately about why she photographs the things she does. “I think the most important thing for me is that photography is something that I can communicate the way I feel about things in society,” she says.

“It’s [photography] a way I can tell you the way (sic) I’m thinking about the world”.

Bieber also has an exhibition on at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg which challenges conventional stereotypes of men linked to power, corruption and violence.

The Between Darkness and Light Exhibition runs from April, 16 to July, 20 at the Wits Arts Museum.

See photos of the opening of the exhibition by clicking on the link below: