Through the Walls of Colourism
“Dealing with stares from birth sounds a bit tough, but you get used to it,” Chris said to me.
We met solely by coincidence. I expressed my intent to create JPEGs that live outside the walls of social media, thought-provoking images. I asked if he would be comfortable sharing his story.
He said he knew many like him who would appreciate seeing or hearing from young voice – someone who looked like them.
I asked him what the hardest part was.
“People not realising that this isn’t a curse.”
Traditional healers and ‘sorcerers’ have over the years claimed that people with albinism are “ghosts who never die but merely disappear.” In many parts of East Africa, people like Chris are targeted for their body parts, which some believe hold magical powers and bring good fortune. However, albinism is a genetic condition that causes a deficit in the biosynthesis of melanin, a pigment that colours the skin, hair and eyes.
I had no idea how we would make these photos; I didn’t even own a camera at the time. All this while, I shot all my photos with an iPhone 7.
Fast forward to April, inside a building under construction, we shot the photo series which I later titled “Through the Walls of Colourism”. This is our visual statement.
Kreative Kwame is an internationally acclaimed Photographer & Creative from Cameroon. His work has been exhibited by the United Nations, and in cities like Paris & Geneva.He describes himself as an “experimental storyteller”, dabbling with everything creative, be it copywriting for brands & social media, or shooting/directing ads, shorts & documentaries. His motivation to start photography was to get into film. He edits with his iPhone 7, with which he began taking photos. His style, at its base, is storytelling through photography – an example is his photo series “Shame”, which was featured as a magazine cover. He likes moody tones, and recently, blur effects.