Vulture Stalking a Child

Carter, Kevin. Vulture Stalking a Child. 1993. Photograph. Sudan.

This photo represents the vulnerability of starving children and how desperately they need help.

The African girl is the focal point of this image. She is crouched down on the open land with her elbows, hands and head touching the dirt, while her feet stand firmly on the ground. Her face is not shown so one cannot see the expression on her face. The girl is very small and must be between the ages of 3 and 6. Based on her physical appearance, she appears to be resting due to exhaustion and/or extreme hunger. In the distance, there is a vulture standing about 7 feet behind the girl. The vulture’s wings are down, its mouth is closed, its feet are sturdy on the ground and its eyes are set on the helpless girl in front of it. In the background, there are trees. The setting seems to be very dry and hot due to the dried dirt both the girl and vulture are resting on, the scattered brown/dead grass and foliage and the bright sun.

This photograph can be interpreted as such that the vulture is waiting and planning to attack the young, weak, tired and starving African girl. Since the girl is alone and appears to be too thin to have the energy to run away, her vulnerability to becoming prey to the vulture is high. The fact that she is so young also serves to emphasis the message of this photograph that these innocent and helpless starving children need help. They have very little chance for survival, increasingly so when they are by themselves. The image provokes shock and sadness, which will hopefully cause people to realize the severe situations and harsh conditions some children are forced to live with. Unfortunately, many children die every day due to starvation. The photograph is a metaphor for Africa’s despair. The fact that it depicts another way a child’s life can end illustrates how much suffering a helpless child can go through. Carter captures an extremely devastating situation on film, hoping to get the message out that these starving children are vulnerable and are desperately in need of our help.



  1. The photograph was very powerful and grabbed the attention of the observers. I liked the way you described the image and interpreted to the reader. However, I do think you should separate that one paragraph into two or three paragraphs. Overall, I think you did a great job with this curation.

  2. In addition to that I also think you can talk about the child’s innocence and how her parents seemed to leave her in the situation she is in. It is not natural for a mother to leave her baby alone to fend for herself, so I think you can go into depth about that. Sorry about the two comments, that was just another thought that came to my mind.

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