Kevin Carter was an amazing and inspiring photographer who was a strong person being able to document the things that he did within his photography. Carter (13th September 1960 – 27th July 1994) was an award-winning South African photojournalist and member of the Bang-Bang Club.
I heard of Kevin Carter in college studying ‘Spiritual Journey’ and focusing on rights and wrongs, and we studied one of Kevin Carter’s photographs of a child and a vulture. In March 1993 while on a trip to Sudan, Carter was preparing to photograph a starving toddler trying to reach a feeding centre when a vulture landed nearby. Carter claimed he waited 20 minutes to see if the vulture would flare its wings and then he finally took the picture and frightened the vulture away. He came under scrutiny for not saving the young girl. The St. Petersburg Times in Florida said this of Carter:
“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.”
Sold to the New York Times, the photograph first appeared on March 26, 1993. Hundreds of people contacted the newspaper to ask the fate of the girl. The paper reported that it was unknown whether she had managed to reach the feeding center. In 1994, the photograph won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. That same year on the 27th of 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.
I find this really sad, because he was such a talented photographer and documented the horror of people living in third world countries, and he felt responsible in a way for the suffering he witnessed on the day he took the picture of the child and vulture. The image is pictured below.