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A world without Pigment

Albinos or Albinism is an inherited condition. Albinos have no pigment or very little pigment in their skin, hair and eyes. They have inherited genes that lack the melanin that gives the rest of the human race it’s multi-ethnic identity. Positive Exposure, a website and organization dedicated to issues of genetic abnormalities, there is a great series of photographs showing the many different shades that define Albinism. Another longish post on Buzzfeed here. The rest of the images on this post are by the photographer Gustavo Lacerda.

World wide the incidence of Albinism is roughly 1 in 20,000, but in Tanzania it is 1 in 5000. In Tanzania and Burundi albinos are discriminated against and even killed in what are called “witchcraft killings.”  They are killed and their body parts are used in potions sold by witchdoctors as protection against hexes and spells. In Zimbabwe, which has one of the highest rates of HIV infection, sex with an albino is thought to be a cure for AIDS, which has led to rapes and spread of infection. This no doubt explains why Albinos have sought refuge on the remote island of Ukerewe on Lake Victoria, now called Albino Island.

Famous albinos include Johnny & Edgar Winter and Winston  “ Yellowman” Foster as well as many fashion models.

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