Orodha

 
 
 
 

The project

Between June and July 2011 my brother Nino and I travelled to the Mwanza region, in northeastern Tanzania, by the Lake Victoria. Our aim was to get in contact with a sordid phenomenon: the murders of persons affected by albinism, in order to use some of their body parts (members, tongue, genitals, hair) in the preparation of magic potions. This potions are elaborated by certain witchdoctors (mganga en swahili) commissioned by clients. These clients are promised succeeding in their business or obtaining political posts.

Only in the Mwanza district fifteen murders with these characteristics have taken place since 2006, when all this criminal frenzy began. 

The existence of gold mines and the subsequent enigma of the streams’ exact location, is given as one of the reasons for the appearance of these crimes. Similar motivations are also valid for the fishing activity.

The extreme poverty and an ancestral faith in the power of witchcraft are the breeding ground of these crimes. 

During our stay in the area we interviewed and photographed victims, relatives, associations representatives, witchdoctors and journalists. 

On top of this cruel fear, the life of persons with albinism in this part of the world is especially hard. They do not count with the minimum resources to fight against the implacable african sun and their life expectancy is around 30. 

As a result of our impressions, we have elaborated Orodha; a brief list of swahili terms used in the communication with persons affected by albinism in the Lake Victoria region. My brother has written the texts and I have worked the images. 

Our aim was never to condemn discrimination or cruelty, but a more personal and intimate one: understand the burst of such violence avoiding any judgement.