Monday, August 21, 2006

When our self-manufactured pain is simply idiotic…

The prize-winning image: A vulture watches a starving child in southern Sudan, March 1, 1993.

This photo was taken by a Pulitzer-prize winning South African photojournalist named Kevin Carter. Carter 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.

Carter's winning photo shows a heart-breaking scene of a starving child collapsed on the ground, struggling to get to a United Nations food center located a kilometer away during a famine in the Sudan in 1993. In the background, a vulture stalks the emaciated child.

Carter waited 20 minutes for the vulture to spread its wings but apparently, the bird did not. He then took his photographs of the whimpering child, chased the bird away and left. However, he did nothing to help the tiny girl and was criticized widely for his callous behaviour.

"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."
Haunted by the horrific images from Sudan and a sense of guilt, Carter committed suicide in 1994 soon after receiving the award.

It would be inappropriate for us to judge Carter, because, we do not fully understand the situation there and then and his limitations as an outsider to the society.

What we can do is to judge our own lives and reflect on our slew of daily complaints. Think about our gripes of injustices suffered at work, being stuck in awful relationships, our perceived pain of unrequited love and the unending list of what nots. Are we like the helpless child in the photo? No way! Why?
Because we are in the position to turn around and chase the vulture away.


Blogger KIRAN LIGHT said...

oh my goodness, your post was so hauntingly beautiful. thank you for sharing that.

2:29 AM  

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