Kevin Carter - Pulitzer Prize Winner
Sunday, February 7, 2010 6:00:19 AM
Most everyone with an internet connection has probably seen the picture. Maybe a lot of you have heard the story, I had not. Just in case you are one of the people like me that had not heard the back story, let me enlighten you.
In March 1993 Kevin Carter made a trip to southern Sudan and took this photograph. The picture would later bring him the Pulitzer prize. The girl had stopped to rest while struggling to reach the food drop (we were told a refugee camp), nearby a vulture is waiting her to die. It is a horrific picture that gave people a true look at the dire condition in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kevin then came under a lot of scrutiny for spending over 20 minutes setting up the photo instead of helping the child.
"I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings & corpses & anger & pain... of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen... The pain of life overrides the joy to the point that joy does not exist."
Three months after taking the photo, he committed suicide.
Kevin had hitched a ride on a plane that was going in for a food drop. When the plane landed, Kevin jumped out and set up his camera. He was told they would be there for only thirty minutes.
The child looks alone but her mother is behind Kevin at the plane getting some food. There were other mothers and children around. The vulture landed and Kevin waited and watched over the child hoping the buzzard would spread it's wings for the shot. It didn't and time ran out. Kevin shewed the bird away and jumped back on the plane to take off. He never did learn the fate of the child or any of the others for that matter. I'm glad it wasn't what I thought when I first the picture. "Couldn't the camera guy help her?"
Kevin was part of a group of four fearless photojournalists known as the "Bang Bang Club" who traveled throughout South Africa capturing the atrocities committed during apartheid.
One of Kevin's friends in the club was killed by a stray bullet in pursuit of their calling and this contributed to Kevin's depression.
Kevin drove to one of his boyhood favored places and piped his exhaust into the cab of his truck. He could not live in a world that he had so closely witnessed.
For more, please Google Kevin Carter. It is an interesting read.