posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 04:02 PM
In 1994, Kevin Carter won the Pulitzer prize for a photo showing a vulture stalking an infant girl in the Sudan. He was told that journalists should
not come in contact with the people there, as he may contract a disease. He then waited 20 minutes to get a good shot of the vulture spreading it's
wings, nad he left the girl there, about 1 kilometer from the UN Camp.
Born in 1960, Kevin Carter was an award winning South African photojournalist. He began his career photographing scenes of the violent struggle
against Apartheid in South Africa. However, it was a 1993 picture of a famine victim in Sudan that would change his life forever.
"He heard a soft, high-pitched whimpering and saw a tiny girl trying to make her way to the feeding center. As he crouched to photograph her, a
vulture landed in view. Careful not to disturb the bird, he positioned himself for the best possible image. He would later say he waited about 20
minutes, hoping the vulture would spread its wings. It did not, and after he took his photographs, he chased the bird away and watched as the little
girl resumed her struggle."
This picture earned Carter the 1994 Pullitzer Prize for feature photography. "I swear I got the most applause of anybody," Carter wrote back to his
parents in Johannesburg. "I can't wait to show you the trophy. It is the most precious thing, and the highest acknowledgment of my work I could
receive." Carter's joy would not last
Friends and colleagues would come to question why he had not done more to help the child in the photograph? "The man adjusting his lens to take just
the right frame of her suffering," said the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, "might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene."
Burdened with feelings of guilt and sadness, Kevin Carter took his own life On July 27, 1994. His suicide note stated in part, "...I am haunted by
the vivid memories of killings & corpses & anger & pain . . . of starving or wounded children..."
I can not get that picture out of my head now. All I can think about is that poor, little girl trying to crawl to safety, stomach racked with hunger
pangs, as a vulture stalks her, waiting for the end, and a meal.
This brings the question of responsible journalism to the forefront. He was told not to touch any inhabitants, because he may contract a disease. But,
is there any disease that would stop a person from helping this child? He also didn't try to chase the vulture away, and also didn't run bacl to the
camp to try and get some help, as he didn't know what happened to the little girl.
I know this man ended his life, and that his depression was caused by his inactions, but I really feel no sorrow for him.
I don't know if there is any disease on Earth that could have stopped me from trying to help that little girl. But, I am also not trying to win a