White Ebony Photographer Gets the Gold
Award-winning photographer Patricia Willocq has yet again been given recognition for her exceptional efforts in portraiture. Willocq’s poignant portrayal of the plight of people with albinism in Africa was expertly collected in a photo book named White Ebony published by Lammerhuber edition. Both the photographer and her book won gold medals at the One Eyeland awards ceremony. Willocq achieved the 2015 Photographer of the Year award and White Ebony attained the 2015 Gold Book of the Year award.
A photographic journey through albinism in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Albinos are a minority group on the African continent, and they suffer greatly because they look so different to their local populations. These individuals have unusually pale skin, hair and eyes, and their eyes often appear red, depending on which angle you are looking at them from. Because the majority of Africans have dark skin, hair and eyes, albinos are often ostracized by the local communities. They also suffer with health issues like poor vision and extremely sensitive skin. Albino skin is so sensitive to UV rays that they are significantly more prone to skin cancer. In her work, Patricia Willocq sees through the obvious differences in how people with albinism look, and takes time to explore the beauty of humans irrespective of colour. Willocq has produced a range of stunning photographs of people with albinism living in the DRC in everyday settings.
Art for a good cause
By taking expressive and optimist photos of albinos people, Patricia Willocq, with the support of the Gertler Family Foundation (GFF), is recognizing and raising awareness of the difficult situation people suffering from albinism are facing every day of their lives.
Although she has lived in several countries, Willocq was born in 1980 in Kinshasa in the DRC, where she was also raised. The first published photo of an albino that the photographer took was given an Honourable Mention in the UNICEF Photo of the Year Awards ceremony in 2013.