View Full Version : Photographer Haunted by his own Work

11-21-2009, 03:58 AM
I not sure why but I was doing some reading an I recalled a story of a photographer who committed suicide because of what he saw through his work. The photographers name is Kevin Carter a South African Photographer. He took a photo that won him a Pulitzer Prize it was of a starving girl and vulture waiting for the child to die, so haunted by all he had seen he eventually committed suicide. I will post the link to his story, the photo is there. The only thing I did not see was his suicide note, I am only posting it as it is why he thought he could not live life any longer. This man story has many interpretations and facets, so I tried to find the most balanced pieces, so you may read or here varying interpretations of it but I think these are fair.

"I am depressed ... without phone ... money for rent ... money for child support ... money for debts ... money!!! ... I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain ... of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners...I have gone to join Ken if I am that lucky." July 27 1994

Kevin Carter (http://flatrock.org.nz/topics/odds_and_oddities/ultimate_in_unfair.htm)

Also Kevin Carter was one of 4 photographers who were called the Big Bang club that worked the South African Townships during apartheid. Here is a short wikipedia article on the group but I would suggest people interested do further reading as what they did was heroic, selfless and important. Many notable photographers also worked along side them.

Bang-Bang Club - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bang-Bang_Club)

This is a Video where (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDOxDRUNBBQ) "Four Media Students take on the ethics case of Photojournalist Kevin Carter and his infamous and award winning photograph "Sudanese Girl". Quote From You Tube.

11-21-2009, 09:31 AM
Form reading this he sounds a bit like he also suffered from bipolar disorder as well. That might also be what helped contribute to his death.
I have to wonder....
Interesting essay AL. Thanks for sharing.

11-21-2009, 09:43 AM
thanks for sharing that AL.

My heart breaks for that poor man. He seems to have been a very sensitive soul who was both appalled and driven by the photos he took.

Mad Aussie
11-21-2009, 03:38 PM
It does sound like there was a lot more to his suicide than just the photos/experiences he saw and took.

That's some photo though. I'm glad we sponsor a little girl in The Gambia.

11-21-2009, 08:41 PM
Why I posted the suicide note, it was more than just his work and what he saw, but for someone who seems to have been prone to thoughts of suicide and seems from what I read and heard he was manic depressive to begin with so it must have been very tough on him to be photographing those environments.