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Issue 79 - February 2008 - Page 10

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Mobile Phone Tips Things You Never Knew Your Mobile Phone Could Do
  2. Storm Photographs
  3. General Cosgrove Radio Interview Hoax
  4. IRS Tax Refund Phishing Scam
  5. Starbucks Lack of Support For Iraq Troops Rumor
  6. Charging a Mobile Phone with Peepal Leaves
  7. Donate to Autism Research by Watching a Video
  8. Photobucket MySpace Comment Virus Warning
  9. Scam Victims Reimbursements Programme Scam
  10. Kevin Carter Pulitzer Prize Photograph
  11. Facebook Deleting Inactive Users Hoax
  12. Cell Phone Charging Danger Warning Email
  13. Oscar Mayer Does Not Support The War Hoax
  14. An Overview of Phishing

Issue 79 Start Menu

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Kevin Carter Pulitzer Prize Photograph

Summary:
Email with a disturbing image of a starving child being shadowed by a vulture claims that the photograph won a Pulitzer Prize for Photojournalist, Kevin Carter.

Status:
True, but accompanying text has inaccuracies

Example:(Submitted, January 2008)
Subject: How lucky are we reminder

As sad as this is it makes you grateful and appreciative of the way we live and the things we have. It just proves no matter how bad things seem there is always someone suffering more than we will ever know.

Have a close look at both of the photographs & read the messages below them. Forwarding this message to as many people as you can won't fulfil a wish; nor deleting it will cause any misfortune; but its our moral duty to be concerned...towards humanity

Photo of Straving Child With Vulture
Photojounalist Kevin Carter

This was found in his diary,

Dear God, I promise I will never waste my food no matter how bad it can taste and how full I may be. I pray that He will protect this little boy, guide and deliver him away from his misery. I pray that we will be more sensitive towards the world around us and not be blinded by our own selfish nature and interests. I hope this picture will always serve as a reminder to us that how fortunate we are and that we must never ever take things for granted.

Please don't break.. keep on forwarding to our friends on this good day.. Let's make a prayer for the suffering in anywhere any place around the globe and send this friendly reminder to others; think & look at this...when you complain about your food and the food we waste daily.........



Commentary:
This email chain letter contains a very disturbing photograph of a starving child being stalked by a vulture. As the message states, the photograph won a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 1994 for the photographer, Kevin Carter. Carter took the photograph during a trip to the Sudan in 1993.

The incredibly powerful image graphically illustrates the terrible plight of those inflicted by desperate poverty. Even the most hard-hearted individual is likely to be affected by the photograph. For most people, there is an instinctive desire to somehow reach out and rescue the child from her terrible situation. Thus, it is not surprising that the photograph won such a prestigious award.

After the photograph was published in the New York Times, it became world famous and helped to raise awareness of global poverty. However, Carter was roundly condemned for taking the photograph and leaving the scene rather than actually helping the child. What happened to the child after Carter left is unknown. An entry about Carter's life on BBC h2g2 explains the circumstances in which the photograph was taken.
A soft whimpering sound caught his attention. It was a pitiful, animal-like sound. He moved towards it until he found the source. A young African girl was crawling weakly towards the centre of a clearing. She didn't have the energy to stand and, emaciated, stood little chance of survival. If the plight of this little girl couldn't stir the world into action nothing would, as Carter knew instinctively and immediately. He crouched with his camera, ready to frame an eye-level shot. As he did so, a vulture landed behind her, obviously awaiting the moment of death. He carefully framed the photograph, being careful not to disturb the bird, and clicked. He waited about 20 minutes, waiting for the bird to fly off, and when it didn't, he chased it away.

Carter sat under a tree, watched her struggle for a while, smoked a cigarette and 'talked to God'. He did not help the girl. Utterly depressed, he went back to Silva and explained what had happened, wiping his eyes and saying 'I see all this, and all I can think of is Megan. I can't wait to hug her when I get home.
At the time that Carter took the photograph, he was a deeply troubled man, haunted by the things he had seen during his career, plagued by personal problems, and battling a drug habit. Only months after receiving the Pulitzer, Kevin Carter took his own life.

Although the core claims in the email are factual, there are also some inaccuracies. Firstly, the photograph was taken in 1993, not 1994 as stated in the email. The Pulitzer Prize itself was awarded in 1994. Secondly, the supposed diary entry recorded in the message is not genuine. The words were not written by Kevin Carter and were apparently added to the message to create extra impact an entirely unnecessary lie given the power of the photograph itself. The fact that the "diary entry" refers to a "little boy" when the child in the photograph is female exposes the quote as bogus.

A detailed article about the life of Kevin Carter is available on BBC h2g2. An award winning documentary by filmmaker Dan Krauss, The Death of Kevin Carter also examines the photojournalist's troubled life and career.




References:
Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography 1994
Kevin Carter - Photojournalist
The Death of Kevin Carter

Previous Article            Next Article

Issue 79 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Mobile Phone Tips Things You Never Knew Your Mobile Phone Could Do
  2. Storm Photographs
  3. General Cosgrove Radio Interview Hoax
  4. IRS Tax Refund Phishing Scam
  5. Starbucks Lack of Support For Iraq Troops Rumor
  6. Charging a Mobile Phone with Peepal Leaves
  7. Donate to Autism Research by Watching a Video
  8. Photobucket MySpace Comment Virus Warning
  9. Scam Victims Reimbursements Programme Scam
  10. Kevin Carter Pulitzer Prize Photograph
  11. Facebook Deleting Inactive Users Hoax
  12. Cell Phone Charging Danger Warning Email
  13. Oscar Mayer Does Not Support The War Hoax
  14. An Overview of Phishing