Tuesday, 1 June 2010
"Wanting a meal" wins a war!!
In 1993, South Sudan went into a famine. Until then, Operation Lifeline brought in food in 80 feeding points, in agreement with the North, which also received the same amount of food. In 93, the North saw its chance to hit badly the South and allowed only 4 (four) feeding points. Today I spoke to Lise Grand, the lady who negotiated in those days with the Northern official government the feeding points. She is still under the spell of those days. The whole country started the trek towards those four feeding points. 500 000 people died on the way. Imagine a medium sized town , Constantza, let’s say, being wiped off. The picture taken by Kevin Carter, above, in 1993, is entitled “Wanting a meal” and won the Pulitzer prize in 1994. That picture , a small, famished girl being stalked by a vulture, probably did more than anything else to turn the tide of war. The whole public opinion was enflamed by it. It projected the Northern Government of Sudan as the image of EVIL. It encouraged US military to actually bomb Khartoum (even if it happened not to be an Al Queda base). It attracted the attention of the world towards the Sudan situation and led ultimately to the peace agreement and today’s prospects for independence. There are few chances that the girl in the picture is still alive. If she is her health is probably damaged by the famine. But, in the same way as the Unknown Hero of the First World War, she is a symbol of the struggle these people went through. They really need peace and a bit of prosperity now…
P.S. Kevin Carter committed suicide in 1994, soon after winning the prize. He was deeply depressed because of personal problems but he also couldn’t let go of what he had seen in the war.