What is wrong with this picture?
“South African photographer, Kevin Carter was criticized for his famous Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of a starving Sudanese toddler with a vulture lurking in the background. People felt he should have been helping the child rather than taking the photo. Whether his actions were right or wrong will no doubt be debated for many years to come.”
I really don’t need to say a thing. The photo speaks for itself.
4 thoughts on “What is wrong with this picture?”
After studying on the picture and reflecting on your post…
It is Galatians 3:1 that comes to my mind first. “You stupid Galatians! Who put a spell on you? It was before your eyes that the Messiah was publically portrayed as crucified.”
The rule in the Bible is that no one sees God and lives. St. Paul portrayed God before the Galatians who then tried to live (on their own terms) after seeing God with their eyes (at least their mind’s eye). I sense that Carter did much the same. Sad he wins a prize for it, but I notice he did not survive what he saw. Neither should we; neither will we.
I am also reminded of a scene from Hotel Rwanda where the victims of that genocide need the TV images of their plight to get out to America, but the journalist warns them of how Americans will see the images and then turn off their TVs and go on with dinner. And, of course, that is pretty much what happened.
I am sure there are moral/ethical dilemmas involved with photographing the suffering of our fellow humans. I am particularly alarmed when such photos win awards that ingratiate the photographers. But when the photos gain the desired conviction of those who view them, they are priceless. And St. Paul demonstrates that he will show the picture of God crucified to his churches on nearly every page of his letters. Somehow, therein is the Good News. Perhaps we are tasked with wrestling the Angel like Jacob did.
I meant to say a scene from the movie Hotel Rwanda. It may or may not reflect a literally historical conversation, but it depicts the truth all the same.
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Excellent comment. I can see it both ways: However, in this case, he should have offered to feed him. Yes, the photos can bring us the messages in order to act on them. IN the 60s, television brought to us images that blacks were being brutalized by protesters. This in turn assisted in changing shameful laws. But yes, ethical questions loom among this. For, one I do not think the photo as ‘cute’, or oh, what a shame. I feel anger that anyone is in that situation.
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There is a bigger picture to this picture. I do not presume to work it all out. I only give my reaction – a one- slice feedback. I am sure my feedback, which is only one slice, serves to further illuminate things, but it in no way attempts to say “It All”.
The photo is devastating. So brutal. I am so sorry, looking at it, that I, like the photographer, didn’t do more. And any criticism I have for him points at me too.