The Rabbit tales
and other stories of the albinos of Mozambique
Having skin as white as the moon in Africa is not easy. Considered ghosts, spirits of the ancestors who live in the realm of the dead and who, by sorcery, remain among the living, or children of the moon or the stars, albinos suffer all kinds of exclusion. In some countries, they hide them or make the albino newborn disappear. In other countries, they are kidnapped and mutilated (because it is believed that some parts of their body are good luck charms) and their remains are sold to organ traffickers. Nothing remains of them after their death. Everything is sold with total impunity because they are not considered human beings.
For these reasons, we feel the need to sit down, listen to them and give them a voice. We hear and we imagine with them the characters of their stories, the same stories that any boy or girl in Mozambique listens to.
29 stories, told by albinos and the people around them, and illustrated by the children of Mozambique make up this book that aims to give them a voice, make them visible and, above all, show that they are not children of the stars or of the moon, that they are not spirits but people because what characterizes us as human beings is humour and the ability to create stories, what we call literature.
This is an example of the sound files of the stories that Ana Cristina Herreros collected from the albino people she met at the Casa de las Mercedarias de la Caridad in T3, Matola, which she visited in the summer of 2017 and 2018.
Written by Ana C. Herreros
Illustrated by Daniel Tornero
Prologue by Alejandro Palomas
Collection: Black series
Size: 29x22.50 cm
(29 stories and 39 illustrations)
(Price without VAT €23.56)
Projects in Mozambique
We believe that the people who have told us their stories are also authors so we will allocate the corresponding percentage to a project that works in favour of albinos
A MACHINE TO SEW HOPE
30 sewing machines have already been collected in the Chamberí senior centres. We have shipped them in a container to Matola, Mozambique, to the house of the mercenaries of charity.
The centre was opened on April 26, 2017. Its objective is to fight for the rights of albino people, trying to rid them of skin cancer and fighting for their social integration. It is supported by everyone's effort with small jobs that come out and with the help of Africa Directo.
They hope that the sewing workshop will help them with the financing of the centre. They attend more than 300 albino people who are trained in how to take care of themselves and are provided with protective creams. The dermatology consultation will begin shortly for the detection and treatment of precancerous lesions.
In addition, intensive community outreach and awareness-raising work is carried out to promote the value of albino people. They have training workshops: computers, sewing, cooking, and arts. They attend and accompany people with albinism and their families. With the help of "Visión sin fronteras", they provide prescription glasses.
The centre is run by Brother Alexandre Howana (Mozambican) and by the Mercedarian sister Fatima Liberal (Angolan). They have occasional support from the Portuguese NGO Missao Kanimambo, with whom they share objectives.
There, the albino people will learn to sew and will sew whatever they need for their use and sell it for a little money to live on. They will also sew cloth books with their traditional stories that we will bring to Madrid and sell to help support the albino population. We have sent, in addition to the sewing machines, sewing material, in many cases kept by the women and belonging to clothes that they or their family have worn, things that are of no use here but have not been thrown away because of their emotional value and now they are going to recover their usefulness, while at the same time, they are going to symbolize the affection or the implication of some women with the destiny of others.
People with albinism always have, to a greater or lesser degree, low vision. Without help, this difficulty often translates into dropping out of school, low preparation and little chance of finding a job because, in addition to what has been said, their inability to be under the African sun is a cause of skin cancer and a life expectancy of around 30 years old. Therefore, finding a work activity that allows them to stop being dependent is a challenge.
The double discrimination, due to their condition as women and albinos, frequently plunges these women into suffering in solitude. For this reason, we want to go further and for albino women to find someone for whom they are important among the older people of our city, and we want to start with Chamberí, for the older women who have donated their machines, their past, and their history.
We intend to collect the story (sound and visual) of the women who have donated their machines to us:
Who were the women who sewed on that machine?
What was sewn?
How did the machine get to the donor?
What did the machine mean for this woman and why has it been difficult for her to let go?
Why have you taken the step of donating your machine and linking up with another woman you don't know anything about?
We also want to collect the stories of the women who will sew on the donated machines:
Who are they?
How is your life?
How did they get to the centre of Matola?
What are you going to sew?
What is the machine going to mean in your life?
What do you think you can do for the older women who have donated the machines?
We believe that it is essential to show the importance of being able to get involved in the future of people even without knowing them, assuming commitments that, although they will give more meaning to their lives, will seek a better world. And we believe that in this case, it makes more sense to do so by working with women because they have been, especially from ecofeminism, the first to alert us about developmentalism in everything and to raise their voices against the exploitation of women and nature, seeing an intimate relationship between them.
We want to unite the women of both continents with stitches so that none of them will ever say again: I need to feel that someone cares about me.
May 28, 2020
With the arrival of the Coronavirus, foster homes and the sewing workshop where albinos found an option to work had to be closed. Now, with the beginning of deconfinement, the associations we collaborate with need to go back to work, the albinos need to feel safe again, and we need to reactivate the projects in which we had already been collaborating, so we have taken the opportunity to donate the percentages of the sale of books and textiles.
We want this to be as transparent as possible, so below we detail the liquidation that we have made and we enclose the proof of the donation.
Textiles sold at Christmas fairs 2019: €208.92
Textiles sold until today, May 28, 2020: €487.80
Cash donations: €20
117 books sold thanks to our friends in the Canary Islands (at 20% of the RRP): €552.20
445 books sold to date (at 4% of the RRP): €418.30
Our trip to Mozambique
In September 2017 and August 2018, we went to the places where albinos go to pick up the glasses or sun creams that some NGOs bring for them from Europe. We were also listening to their families, and to the teachers who work in their schools. They told us how they live and how they feel excluded, and they also told us stories.
We listened and imagined with them the characters in their stories, the stories told or heard by albinos, the same as those heard by any boy or girl in Mozambique. Daniel Tornero carried out illustration workshops with boys and girls with albinism and without albinism where the young artists were able to cut out cardboard that we found on the street painted white and make the illustrations that make up the book we made with their stories. 29 stories, told by albinos and the people around them, and illustrated by the children of Mozambique make up this book that aims to give them a voice, make them visible and, above all, show that they are not children of the stars or of the moon, that they are not spirits but people, because what characterizes us as human beings is humour and the ability to create stories, what we call literature.
And they also have literature, oral like that of the billions of people who live in Africa and who speak more than two thousand languages that sound on this continent, which are not written, but that does not stop them from having literature. Oral literature is the literature of those who have no voice, of the excluded, of those who have no art but crafts, of those who have no religions but superstitions, of those who have no literature but folklore, who are less worthy than the bullet that the kills them or the machete that amputates them. This is how, through literature and painting, we want to show the humanity of these black people with white skin, who have so many difficulties because they are different.