Photo Series Celebrates International Albinism Awareness Day

This campaign is challenging stigmas around people living with albinism.

The photo series is taking over billboards in Times Square in celebration of International Albinism Awareness Day.

Albinism is a genetic condition that decreases the melanin levels in a person’s skin, and can be seen in all ethnic and racial groups. Approximately one in 20,000 people have albinism in the U.S. Some suffer from visual impairment and the lack of pigmentation causes high risk of skin cancer.

People with albinism also often face discrimination and, in some parts of the world, overt violence and human rights abuses.

“Most cases of physical attacks against people with albinism, actually all, have been reported in 28 countries of sub-Saharan Africa because the attacks are peculiar to beliefs in witchcraft,” UN Independent Albinism Expert Ikponwosa Ero explained. “That does not mean there aren’t other forms of violence such as bullying-related violence in other parts of the globe and some horrific human rights violations, but this peculiar form of human poaching happens and have been reported so far only in sub-Saharan Africa.”

In 2013, the UN Human Rights Council called attention to the attacks and discrimination of people with albinism, and adopted a resolution to make June 13 an international day of awareness.

The NYDG Foundation says funds raised from this campaign will be donated to scholarships and health care costs for people with albinism in Rwanda.