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The Sudanese Girl, photographed by Kevin Carter - Essay Example

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Apart from the disturbing message that is visually manifested in the picture and captured the attention of people globally, the controversial story that haunted the photographer from the time the photograph was taken, up to the accolades received, intermittently interspersed with criticisms, and ultimately led to his suicide, only two months after. …
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The Sudanese Girl, photographed by Kevin Carter
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The Sudanese Girl, photographed by Kevin Carter

Download file to see previous pages... There is more meaning to what is seen in the photography, much more than someone who was so close to the girl could take. At the time the photograph was taken, Sudan had been in the midst of a civil war that have led to prolonged famine that afflicted a wide range of the population necessitating international organizations like the United Nations to distribute aid in the form of food and other relief supplies. The strength of the rhetorical analysis comes in terms of requiring validating references from diverse secondary sources to confirm the credibility not only of the incidents crucial for the photograph, but also the story surrounding famine infested Sudan and Carter’s ultimate demise.
The Sudanese Girl, photographed by Kevin Carter
A young naked body cramped on the earth, with very thin limbs, and rib cage protruding. Face touching the earth from the forehead. The viewer could not even decipher the gender. Despite the face hidden, the gender could have been surmised due to the single white accessory around the neck. Most disturbing was the vulture intently eyeing a potential meal, not even three meters away. Everything else seemed to be oblivious of the scene. Aside from the green trees that set the background, all that viewers see is the disturbing reality of hunger, famine, eminent death. The meaning that the picture aims to relay is more than eliciting pity, empathy, fear – it generated diverse reactions and criticisms that created another tragic story for the photographer who was tagged as "The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering," said The Sudanese Girl, photographed by Kevin Carter Source: Toledo, 2010 the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, "might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene” (Macleod, 1994, 5). The story of Kevin Carter was thereby featured in Time, published on September 12, 1994 entitled “The Life and Death of Kevin Carter” (Time, 1994) which proffered the kind of life the photographer led and the tendencies for drug addiction and susceptibility to suicide. Having previously attempted to take his life after losing his job, Macleod revealed Carter espousing a troubled personality exemplifying a rollercoaster prelude aggravated by the habit of taking marijuana and the ‘white-pipe’: “a mixture of dagga and Mandrax, a banned tranquilizer containing methaqualone” (Macleod, 1994, 3). Another opportunity to rationalize the tragic suicide of a recently acclaimed photographer, seeking to justify the outcome of his behavior, by fitting pieces of a puzzle, leaving the readers to conclude. The image ability to appeal to ethos is deemed eminent in its solicitation of diverse reactions focusing the plight of the victims of Sudan’s civil war and famine. The immediate fame it generated by winning a Pulitzer Prize was actually magnified by the event of the photographer’s death. According to Christensen (2010), “it is true that Kevin Carter won a Pulitzer Prize for his famous photograph. It is also true that Carter left the scene after taking the photograph without helping the child. However, it is too simplistic to suggest that he committed suicide as a direct result of his experience with this child as implied in the message. It is also unfair to judge his actions without having some understanding of the man's state of mine along with the terrible conditions in Sudan at the time the photograph was taken” (par. 2). The statement supports the appeal of the ethos perspective in reaching ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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