THE VULTURE AND THE LITTLE GIRL
In the last 1696 days DailyPost has never copied a title from anywhere. Today it’s the emotions in this pall of gloom which has forced this topic. The topic is that of a picture shot by Kevin Carter in 1993 which is also known as ”The Struggling Girl.” This picture defined the tragedy of Sudan. This was shot in Ayod in Sudan. It reflected the mood, sentiment, professionalism and also the lack of sentiment and emotions of the man who shot the pic. Kevin Crater was a photojournalist from South Africa, who is no more. The girl who was actually a boy could not me made out from the black and white picture of a very high photographic and journalistic quality.
The picture won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography award in 1994. Everybody and every organization has its own lens and its own purpose of existence. They have developed the capability to remain blindfolded. Whether it’s somebody’s life in question is nobody’s concern. Photographic brilliance was presumed to have been rewarded. The picture showed ”a little Sudanese girl who had collapsed from hunger on the trail to a feeding center in Ayod. A vulture lurked behind her.” New York Times had then said, it was not known whether she reached the center. Human rights are inalienable they say, and the world is committed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Four months after being awarded Pulitzer, Carter committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in July 1994, at the age of 33. The picture still remains alive in the world’s memory, for the people who want to know the truth, even after 27 years. In one of the videos appearing recently; at Prayagraj, a dog was pulling out one of the corpses on the banks of Ganga from the sand and trying to feed on it. This is another defining image of the life and times we live in. Human rights of the living to the human rights of the dead is the journey which we have traversed since the time Kevin Carter shot that iconic photograph in 1993, which became the true depiction of the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
The Pandemic has broken our systems and numbed our sensibilities, what could not have been imagined seems to have become the new normal. For Sudan, it was one picture, but certainly the tragedy was all over. Here the videos one is forced to see on a regular, has already become the defining images of our current existence. How it is to be covered by the journalistic class and how it is to be disseminated would always remain a matter of debate. Whether showing reality is the ultimate or maintaining faith in the system or ameliorating misery, would long be debated after the crisis is over. The poignant scenes would for sure remain with us completely vivid till the end of our lives.
A PICTURE IS WORTH A MILLION WORDS.