Albinos in Tanzania. Mendel’s Russian Roulette | Ana Palacios

Ana Palacios | Photojournalism


In 1866, Gregor Mendel demonstrated with his genetic experiments that the nature is capricious. It demonstrated that to give birth an albino child of black parents is slightly frequent but statistically possible. The albinism is, therefore, it departs from the harmony in the order of the cosmos. He is the man, ignoramus of this law of the nature and without any scientific base, which baptizes of “benediction” or “curse” the condition to be an albino.

Generation after generation, the tradition in Africa has decided to curse the albino, turning him into underprivileged person and even, into the last years, object of the wizards’ desire for potions of ” good luck ” that have never demonstrated any efficiency.

Tanzania, with the major index of albino citizens of the world, has met bound to construct centers that they receive and protect to the albino community in different points of the country. For several years also it carries out exhaustive campaigns of education and awareness to eradicate these groundless beliefs that so much harm and put in danger of death the persons with albinism.


Zawia, Alfred, Yonge … are childrens. Albino children who live chained to this tradition that he them condemns unjustly to the discrimination. Plunged in the infancy, they know that a more difficult future waits for them still that to his black brothers. To the lack of melanina in his skin are added serious problems of vision and high risk of leather cancer for lack of solar protection that gives them a life expectancy of 30 years. They know it and it makes them stronger.

They learn, enjoy and squeeze every moment with an exceptional vitality. The life does not put on it easily but they will fight until the end for the equality of opportunities. To be chosen by the random of the genetics is a sufficient reason in order that his rights meet awkward.

They do not want to be different, because they are not different.

Project supported by the NGOs AIPC Pandora and Africa Direct.