I am depressed … without phone … money for rent … money for child support … money for debts … money!!! … I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain … of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners…I have gone to join Ken if I am that lucky.
“He ventured into the dark alleys of life capturing images which no one ever had seen before. Or who would have wanted to face those sickening truths which were least appealing to human eyes? His pictures pierced our heart, splitting it wide open letting out our anguish, pain, disgust or whatever emotions that you’ve never known before. Emotions that were not familiar to the comfort zone where you, I and millions of others have been lingering for long.”
As you look at the picture, what comes to your mind? Shock, disbelief, pain, anguish…and eventually you will be left behind with a disturbed mind stifled by numerous thoughts. Some of us will be left with a disdain for the man who captured this image on frame.
The vulture & child photograph first appeared in NY Times in 1993. Carter was in Sudan to photograph the rebel movement in famine-stricken Sudan.
While taking the shots of famine victims, he saw this little girl crawling all the way to the feeding centre. As he adjusted the frame for her, a vulture approached. Carter himself later said that he waited for the vulture to spread its wings, but it didn’t happen, and so he chased the vulture away after taking the shot. Funds came pouring in to Sudan and people from all over the world wanted to know what eventually happened to the little girl, something Carter did not have any answer for.
Though the photograph earned Carter a Pulitzer Prize, he came under severe criticism for abandoning the child. A Florida-based news paper described him as: “The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering, might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene.”
On 27 July 1994 Carter drove to the Braamfontein Spruit river, near the Field and Study Centre, an area where he used to play as a child, and took his own life by taping one end of a hose to his pickup truck’s exhaust pipe and running the other end to the passenger-side window. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning, aged 33. Portions of Carter’s suicide note read the quote I mentioned above.
You might also want to check The Bang Bang Club (wiki - movie) and watch a documentary entitled The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club