They can be soulful, they can be sad, and they can reach millions of hearts. Great photos say more than a volume of words can. Photos have the ability to record miracles and disasters. Children have often been pictured in both, from joyful moments to tragic ones. They speak directly to the heart without barrier of language or distance. This list looks at some of the most enduring images and how they changed thousands of lives.
10. Vulture Waiting For Girl To Die
Title: The Vulture and the Little Girl, Ayod, South Sudan, 1993
Pictures can tell the truth with light and timing. In the bright day, the child was too weak to stand. She was only one of many in a South Sudan that was gradually starving to death. A vulture landed nearby to watch and wait for her to die.
With the photographer nearby and the child still crawling, the vulture did not draw nearer. The girl supposedly made it to the feeding center nearby. Yet the picture became a “metaphor of Africa’s despair.”
People knew that the Sudanese were starving. But when this was published in The New York Times in 1993, it opened many eyes. And it made hundreds ask: Why didn’t the photographer help the child?
He chased the vulture away but left her to continue her painful crawl. Not everyone realized that photojournalists were told not to touch famine victims for fear of spreading disease.
There was an outpouring of accusation toward Kevin Carter. Was it a photojournalist’s duty to intervene? A year after taking the picture, Carter took his own life.