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Mozambique, white albino

Last year, we were in Mozambique collecting stories from albinos and the people around them and illustrating with the children of the Mercedarian centre of T3 (Matola), of Hakumana (Maputo), of the school of Massaca (Boane), which is financed by the Encuentro Foundation, and of the family of Cristina Magaia in Bobole.

We realised that albino people have many problems: above all, reduced vision, and skin cancer due to lack of melanin. But the most serious thing is that they are kidnapped because people think they are not people but ghosts, or spirits. People do not go near them because they are afraid of infecting themselves and begetting albino children. Witchdoctors covet them to make amulets due to their belief that albino limbs bring good luck. Organ traffickers take advantage of the situation, which they encourage because it brings them great profit; they make them disappear and cut them up for the international organ market, reinforcing the popular idea that they are spirits.

To show and demonstrate that they are not spirits but people, we collected their stories because what differentiates us from other animals (and spirits) is the ability to laugh and tell stories. We collected almost 50 stories, and from them, we have selected about thirty, which Daniel Tornero is already preparing for Libros de las Malas Compañías (Bad Companies Books) to publish in its Serie Negra (Black Series), in October. It will be entitled:

And they told us mainly tales of rabbits: an animal that has no claws, no teeth, and no strength but is able to survive in the jungle thanks to its cunning. Like the albino people, or like any of the people we have seen in Mozambique, or that can be seen anywhere in the world, small beings, black or white, who survive thanks to their cunning.

This year, I went back to Mozambique with Kike Carbajal. We visited the places where I travelled with Daniel Tornero in September 2017, and Kike photographed the people who told us the stories (a year older). In addition to reading their stories, we want you to be able to see their look, their smile, and their gesture. We want you to see the place where they live, what their mothers and sisters are like, and how they move around the city. We will make an exhibition with all the material, but here are some photos in advance.

The most important thing about the book or the exhibition is to bring you closer to the reality of the albinos living in this part of Africa. Only in this way will we be able to stop this brutality that harasses them.

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