Kevin Carter was a photojournalist from South Africa, born in 1960. While he mainly worked for local South African publications in Johannesburg, the Associated Press and The News York Times were known to buy his photos of his coverage of several conflicts. In this blog, we will see how the United States reacted to his work.
Carter was considered apart of the Bang Bang Club, a group of photojournalists who covered the apartheid situation in South Africa from 1990 to 1994. They often traveled and worked together to get several angles of the same conflict. The members included Greg Marinovich, Ken Oosterbroek, Kevin Carter and João Silva. Kevin Carter was the most well known photojournalist of the group at the time, but also considered the most troubled (Time Magazine, 2001). A few months after winning a Pulitzer Prize, Carter committed suicide.
Brief biographies of members of the Bang Bang Club
Greg Marinovich was also a South African photojournalist and photo editor, but later went on to be a film maker and author. He was the only other Bang Bang Club member to win a Pulitzer Prize, where he depicted a man being killed for being a spy during the African National Congress in South Africa. Another interesting note is he is one of the two surviving Bang Bang Club members. Shown in the photos above, is a picture of Marinovich and his prize winning photo.
Ken Oosterbroek was also from South Africa, and worked for the Johannesburg Star. He spent time as chief photographer, and won many local awards. Ken was shot and killed while covering the African National Congress with his friend and fellow club member, Greg Marinovich when a fight broke out. Kevin Carter was said to be very close to Ken, and mentioned Ken in his suicide letter.
João Silva is the other surviving Bang Bang Club member besides Greg Marinovich. His specialty is war photography, and is well-known as a freelance photojournalist working for Reuters. Silva was with Kevin Carter when he covered the 1993 Sudan famine, and accompanied him as he took his Pulitzer Prize
winning photo of the girl and the vulture. He wrote about his experiences with Kevin Carter in a book he co-wrote with Marinovich, “The Bang Bang Club: Snapshots of War.”
Fun Fact: The name “Bang Bang Club” came from the South African magazine Living, because the South African photo-journalists were becoming famous for their photos. “Bang-bang” means the sound of gunfire, which the photojournalists were always surrounded by.