Jodi Beber - Artist portrait, photo via

Jodi Bieber

South Africa 1966


Jodi Bieber
Jodi Bieber
South Africa
June 2, 2016

As a documentary photographer, Jodi Bieber’s work reveals the social issues and points out harsh living conditions throughout her homeland, South Africa, but also at the rest of the continents, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan. Her photography captured beauty in the faces of some of the world’s most abused women. Portraying Bibi Aisha, young mutilated Afghanistan woman she won the first place in the World Press Photo of the Year Portrait category. The photo featured on the cover of the Time magazine in August 2010, shows 18-years-old girl who was cut off the nose and ears by her husband because she tried to escape from his abuse. She was rescued by US military and taken to the women’s refugee camp in Kabul.

 - Quiet page 2011 home aisha bibi
Jodi Bieber – Quiet

Education and Photographic Beginings

Bieber was born in 1966. She studied photography at the Market Theatre photographic workshop and finished the World Press Masterclass. At the beginning of her career, she covered up the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994. In 1996, she started working on assignments for publications such as the New York Times magazine. Collaborating with the several non-profit organizations, she focused on the young people living on the fringes of the African society. These early works are gathered and published in a book Between Dogs and Wolves – Growing up in South Africa. It was followed by her second the third books, Soweto and Real Beauty.

Her work focuses on problem that young people in African society have

 page 2011 home aisha bibi
Jodi Bieber – Soweto

Soweto and The Real Beauty

Series Soweto refers to crime, poverty and problem with aids. She captures the place seen the eyes of its inhabitants, representing the homes they live in and their everyday surroundings. The artist takes the viewer into most problematic neighborhoods of Johannesburg, where the guns have the only power and prostitutes freely choose their clients.

Her other series, The Real Beauty, was inspired by a Dove billboard advertising campaign showing women in their underwear with the slogan of real beauty. These images represent her rebellion against what the media depicts as beautiful. Each of her subjects is photographed at her home and their poses were self-directed. The most important issue that arose from these works is the variety of beliefs based on the way women look. She strives to show the fact that there is no real perfect body shape and that beauty depends on individual perception.

The Real Beauty series search for a true feminine prettiness

 - The real beauty
Jodi Bieber – The Real Beauty

Awards for Best Photographer and Exhibitions

Bieber has given workshops in Finland, Nepal, Italy Vienna,Turkey, London, Latvia, Chile and Bangladesh and has been a guest lecturer at the Market Photography Workshop, London College of Communication, Westminister University, ICP school of Photojournalism in New York and at Photo Espane. Her work has been awarded seven World Press Photographic Awards. The three monographs and other projects are exhibited in numerous solo and group shows locally and abroad.

The artist is represented by Jean Denis Walter Gallery, Paris.

She currently lives and works in London.

Featured image: Jodi Bieber – Artist portrait, photo via
All images copyright of the artist

YearExhibition titleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Between Darkness and Light Grahamstown Gallery, Grahamstown FestivalSolo
2015Between Dogs and Wolves Antalya Photo Festival, TurkeySolo
2014Between Darkness and Light Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg, SASolo
2014Haute Afrika Foto-Festival Knokke Heist, BelgiumGroup
2014Quiet Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South AfricaSolo
2013Between Darkness and Light Museum Goch, Goch, GermanySolo
2013My Joburg Maison Rouge, Paris, FranceGroup
2013 Rise and Fall of Apartheid – ICP NY and Museum Africa, JHBGroup
2013Russian MomentsThe Russian Museum,St PetersburgGroup
2013COMMITMENT#3, November 2013 at La Filature Scène nationale – Mulhouse, FranceGroup
2012Between Darkness and Light Stadthaus Ulm, Ulm, GermanySolo
2011Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UKGroup
2011Taylor Wessing exhibition The National Portrait Gallery, National Portrait Gallery LondonGroup
2011 World Press Photo exhibition travelling exhibition beginning in Amsterdam and touring to 45 countries.Group
2011Noorderlicht International Photo Festival Groningen, the NetherlandsGroup
2011Between Darkness and light: selected works 1993–2004 Goodman Gallery Cape, Cape Town, South AfricaSolo
2011Real Beauty Oulu Museum of Art, Finland 2011Solo
2010 Mother Nature Art and Psychology in Conversation University Museum, Stellenbosch, South AfricaGroup
2010 Museum Goch, Germany; Willy-Brandt- haus Johannesburg Art Gallery; Pretoria Art MuseumGroup
2010 South African Photography Stadhuis Ulm, GermanyGroup
2010Borders Bamako Biennale, Bamako, MaliGroup
2009PRAXIS. Art in times of uncertainty Las Canas – 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, GreeceSolo
2009Human Conditions Noorderlicht International Photo Festival, Groningen, the NetherlandsGroup
2008 7th Recontree Africaines de la Photographie Bamako 2007, The ifa-Galleries Berlin and Stuttgart, GermanyGroup
2008Las Canas Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, AustraliaSolo
2008Real Beauty Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South AfricaSolo
2008Survivors of Domestic Violence Columbia University, Columbia, USASolo
2008Las Canas FotoFreo, Fremantle, AustraliaSolo
2008 Las Canas Foundation Jean Paul Blachere, FranceGroup
2008Las Canas Goodman Gallery stand at the Johannesburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South AfricaGroup
2008Between Dogs and Wolves – Growing up with South Africa The Hereford Photographic Festival, Hereford, UKSolo
2007Joburg to Bamako Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South AfricaGroup
20079 Photographers – Perspectives from South Africa Arts in Marrakech Festival, The Musée de Marrakech, MoroccoGroup
2007 CAMERA AUSTRIA Kunsthaus Graz, Austria 2007 Las Canas, Goodman Gallery stand at Art Basel Miami Beach Art Fair, Miami, USAGroup
2007 I am not afraid The Market Photo Workshop, Johannesburg, South Africa Group
2007The Loaded Lens Goodman Gallery Cape, Cape Town, South AfricaGroup
2007Las Canas Bamako Biennial, Bamako, MaliGroup
2007The Bosluis Basters Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South AfricaGroup
2006The fear never goes away completely. But I can manage again. Mental Trauma and the Conflict in Aceh IndonesiaSolo
2006 Moving WallsThe Soros Foundation, New York, USAGroup
2005 Unsettled: 8 South African Photographers Reykjavík Museum of Photography, IcelandGroup
2005 Unsettled: 8 South African Photographers Durban Art Gallery, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2005 Unsettled: 8 South African Photographers Sweden National Museum of Photography, SwedenGroup
2005 Unsettled: 8 South African Photographers The Regional MuseumGroup
2005Violence against women, Amnesty International and MSF Naarden Photographic Festival, Naarden, HollandGroup
2005 Unsettled: 8 South African Photographers Det Kongelige Bibliotek, DenmarkGroup
2005World Press Photo Exhibition worldwide travelling showGroup
2003Las Canas, Vidas en Positvo El Museo de la Illustracion y la Modernidad de Valencia, Valencia, SpainGroup
2003Borders and Beyond Swiss Arts Council of Switzerland, SwitzerlandGroup
2003Borders and Beyond AMF, Maputo, MozambiqueGroup
2003Beach of the True Believers Festival of the Sea, Vannes, FranceGroup
2003Photographers GalleryCape Town, South AfricaGroup
2002Buniyaad Pakistan, ArRum, London, UKGroup
2002Survivre A L’Apartheid Maison European de la Photo, Paris, FranceGroup
2002 World Press Photo Exhibition worldwide travelling showGroup
2002Visa Pour L'Image ParisSolo
2002South African President's Office Commissioned 10 South African photographers chosen to document the state of the child in South Africa African Window Museum in Pretoria, South AfricaGroup
2001Borders and Beyond Pro Helvetia, SwitzerlandGroup
2001Celebrate South Africa London, UKGroup
2001Celebrate South Africa London, United Kingdom Group
2001The Chobimela - Photo Festival Mozambique after the floods, BangladeshGroup
2001Soweto - A South African Legend Gasteig Kultuzentrum, Reis Museum, Willy Brant Haus, Stadhaus, Germany, Goethe Institute, Johannesburg, Regina Mundi Church, SowetoGroup
2001The Chobimela Photo Festival in Asia , BangladeshGroup
2000UnknownMuseum Africa, JohannesburgGroup
2000Democracy's Images - Photography and Visual Arts After ApartheidCape Town, South AfricaGroup
2000Lines of Sight The South African National Gallery, Cape TownGroup
1999North Sea Jazz Festival Series : The Gauteng Music Academy, Cape Town, Artimediar Gallery, HollandGroup
1999A South Photographs Collective Exhibition - Series Durban by the Sea.' - Area Galllery, Cape TownGroup
1999The Mask A South Photographs collective exhibition- Michaelis Gallery, Cape Town, Bensusan Museum of Photography, JohannesburgGroup
1998UnknownThe Johannesburg Art GalleryGroup
1998Kom Blom Met Ons Gangsterism in Westbury, Johannesburg, BidMuseet, Sweden, 1998.Group
1996Pro Helevetia the Arts Council of SwitzerlandGroup
1996Colours Kunst aus Suid Afrika Haus der Kulturen der WeldtGroup
199610 international photographers selected for a project around Political Borders. Series: Repatriation Illegality between South AfricaMozambiqueGroup