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Fall 2009 Edition
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Author: Nicholas Neuteufel
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

diamond icon Nicholas Neuteufel is a rising sophomore attending duPont Manual Magnet High School in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the winner of the Louisville Fellowship of Reconciliation Essay Contest for his work about the Democratic Republic of Congo. He hopes to attend Brown University for a degree in political science.

"Kevin Carter" is flash creative nonfiction about the eminent work of South African photographer Kevin Carter, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 1994 for his photography of the Sudanese famine and genocide. Creative nonfiction combines actual events with artistic license.

Kevin Carter

"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."
-Found with the body of Kevin Carter

It was a warm, sunny day in South Africa. The noonday sun was shining mercilessly. Kevin Carter was hazy and sleep deprived. He had not slept for two days. Every time he tried to sleep he envisioned the things he saw and documented. Every time he tried to go to sleep he saw his baby son playing on a playground that many African children would never have the opportunity to see. Kevin was parked in his red Nissan truck by the spot where he, himself, played as a child, away from the poverty he would witness. He did nothing, he thought to himself. No change had come about because of his lifelong work. He had won a Pulitzer Prize, but nothing important happened because of him, he thought.

He had been criticized by many. "The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene."

He breathed heavily as he felt the carbon monoxide in his lungs.

There she was. Just lying there. A lonely girl, malnourished, despite the technology, innovation, and surplus of the Western world, elbows protecting her face, scarred by horrors, everyday things where she was from that no American had ever seen before. Her ribs were well defined, with no clothes or protection from the hot sun. Her eyes conveyed the deepest emotions of desperation and isolation, a starvation not even a nearby village could solve, as the harvest that year failed. The famine waged its seemingly endless war on the villagers, while the foreign aid reinforcements did little in their quagmire of red tape, corruption and greed.

The vulture sat there; waiting, watching. Its eyes were solely focused on the eventual prey that sat, cowered in fear before it.

It could wait.

All of this was captured in thousands of vivid colors showing the striking, thought-provoking scene.

All he had was water, a notebook and pens, a map and compass, and his photographer’s kit. With these objects, he had hoped to help end poverty. “This one image,” Kevin said aloud to himself, “could help save the world from the plague of poverty. This is the vaccine of poverty. What person could see this and not weep?”

He breathed heavily as he felt the carbon monoxide in his lungs.

ISSN 1941-0441

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