Do you see the spectator in this picture?
The spectator is holding the camera.
In 1993, a journalist by the name of Kevin Carter made a life changing trip as a photographer to Sudan.
As the story is told, after exiting a UN plane flown in to deliver food aid, he saw an emaciated toddler, a little child stopping to rest trying to get to a feeding center nearby.
There was another figure in this scene, the vulture who was waiting for the little child to die.
At this point in the story, it is unclear what happened next. Some say that Carter clicked the camera and simply turned and walked away. Others say that he clicked the camera and then chased the vulture away. What we do know to be true is that the child remained there in the dirt, without help and without food. No one that we know of yelled for help, picked the child up or ran to get food and water. Most likely, the vulture waited patiently until the end of life came for that child.
Soon after the picture was taken, the UN plane left with Carter and other journalists on board.
Carter’s work captured the horror of starvation up close and personal – something that was then and is still today totally avoidable. Carter was a world class photographer. He was also a spectator faced with the decision – do I help or do I keep going my way?
Some people may judge Kevin Carter – and that would be wrong. We do not know the reasons for his response – would the UN plane leave without him? Was he frozen with fear? Did he think someone else would help if he did not? Was he advised not to help?
If faced with the same decision, what would YOU do?
Some time later, Carter sold the photo to the New York Times where it appeared in March 1993. A year later, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in May 1994.
Three months later, in July 1994 Carter drove to an area where he used to play as a child, and took his own life at the age of 33. The note he left behind shared the despair of a troubled man.
Today, in full view of the world, there are 30,000 children who die daily from hunger and the effects of extreme malnutrition. 30,000 children who are weak, starving and alone. As with the vulture in this picture, death awaits these children.
As this humanitarian crisis unfolds before us TODAY, there are spectators who see the suffering, hear the pleas for help and walk the other way.
Fortunately, there are people who have offered to help with their time, talents and treasures – thank you! If you have not helped as yet, please consider your decision.
Look on the left side of this page for Ways to Volunteer and Ways to Give – all of them are important. Look them over carefully for you may discover at least one way to be a life saver!