Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Kevin Carter & His Award Winning Photo

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 (child) trying to make (their) way to the feeding center. As he crouched to (get the) photograph, 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 child) resumed (their) struggle."

This picture earned Carter the 1994 Pulitzer 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 (the) suffering," said the St. Petersburg (FloridaTimes, "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..." - KevinCarter

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