The Imaginary Albino

Garth Mullins, photograph by Rick Guidotti.

Garth Mullins, photograph by Rick Guidotti.


From the 19th century freak show to the East African black market in body parts to the modern cinema, the image of the albino has seized the popular imagination. Garth Mullins is a person with albinism and at six feet, four inches tall, he stands out in a crowd. But recently Garth didn't stand out...instead, he blended in at an Albinism conference with a pale majority who looked a lot like him.

imaginary-albino-g&l.jpgThe idea of "the albino" has seized the popular imagination everywhere from the circus sideshow to the negative stereotypes of modern cinema to a gruesome East African black market in albino body parts. Popular culture attributes many qualities to "the albino;" an outsider; a magical being; a human embodiment of evil. In some cultures, albinism is associated with mystical or prophetic power or even ghosts. The albino body has long been an object of ridicule and fascination; of fear and fetishism.

Garth Mullins
is all too familiar with the stereotypes and discrimination. Garth has albinism. He sets out to understand the stereotypes and gruesome superstitions in the Imaginary Albino.

Photograph: Lisa Hale and Garth Mullins
. Photo credit: Don Sawatzky.

Contact the Creators
Garth Mullins - twitter @garthmullins
Lisa Hale - twitter @lisa_hale

Garth Mullins photo essay of making this documentary on tumblr

Related Websites and Resources for People with Albinism

National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH)

Under the Same Sun is a Non-Government Organization working to end discrimination and violence against people with albinism in East Africa.

Positive Exposure - highly innovative arts organization working with individuals living with genetic difference. Utilizes the visual arts to significantly impact the fields of genetics, mental health and human rights.

See Dennis Hurley's "the Albino Code" a send up of the Da Vinci Code:

Albinism Fellowship UK & Ireland

Albinism Fellowship of Australia

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