Documentary: Vulture Stalking a Child, Kevin Carter [notes]

R.H.P,. (2013). The Vulture and The Little Girl. [online] City: Uknown: Rare Historical Photos. Available from: [Accessed on 14th December 2015, at 13:31]

The photograph of the child and the vulture was taken by South African photojournalist, Kevin Carter, while photographing for an assignment in Sudan. (he committed suicide a few months later, which may or may not be related, multiple issues that would have led to the suicide)

“The parents of the children were busy taking food from the plane, so they had left their children only briefly while they collected the food. This was the situation for the girl in the photo taken by Carter. A vulture landed behind the girl. To get the two in focus, Carter approached the scene very slowly so as not to scare the vulture away and took a photo from approximately 10 meters. He took a few more photos before chasing the bird away.”

The photo was published in The New York Times in March of 1993, which sparked a massive reaction. People wanted to know what happened the child, and if Carter had helped her at all. The Times issued a statement saying that the girl was able to make it to the food station, but beyond that no one knows what happened to her. Because of this, Carter was bombarded with questions about why he did not help the girl, and only used her to take a photograph.

However, Carter was working in a time when photojournalists were told not to touch famine victims for fear of spreading disease. Carter estimated that there were twenty people per hour dying at the food centre. The child was not unique. Regardless, Carter often expressed regret that he had not done anything to help the girl, even though there was not much that he could have done.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s