Every year the charity Standing Voice organise skills sharing workshop in a purpose-built community centre for people with albinism on Ukerewe Island, Tanzania.
Ukerewe is famous for its large population of people with albinism: a genetic condition widely stigmatised in Tanzania, where many people with albinism endure lifetimes of discrimination and witchcraft-fuelled violence.
Standing Voice is a charity originally set up after its founder, Harry Freeland, made a documentary about the plight of people with albinism and the stigma attached to their misunderstood condition. The film won awards and captured the attention of the world (see the trailer on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/146900513).
See more about the chartity here; http://www.standingvoice.org/about
The charity now provides education around the subject of albinism, skin-cancer clinics that tour, check and treat thousands of people a year and eye-clinics that help treat sight problems caused by albinism. They now have over 5500 PWA receiving their services. The government has provided land for a permanent community centre to be built (the Umoja Centre) where people can come together and learn more about each other and share their skills and lives.
The aim of the centre is to bring together everyone within the Ukerewe community and break down the barriers of stigma attached to disabilities.
We have been given the chance to work within this community and share visual communication skills with the people there to encourage their stories and ideas to be told through art.
Inbal and Kate have worked with children and adults in the UK, running book-making and sequential image workshops aimed at exploring the world around us. They have prior teaching experience working within schools, universities and running art courses. They are both recent graduates from the internationally renowned children’s book illustration MA in Cambridge.
We would love the opportunity to share our love of drawing and stories with children and adults who have gone through some very distressing times and we hope will find great value in creative expression. We want to make a positive difference to their lives and hope that through sharing our love of drawing we can find a common language.
Kate Winter won the Ronald Searle award for creativity this year and her book on the Lascaux rock paintings has been shortlisted for the Batsford Prize 2019.
Inbal Leitner is a celebrated illustrator. Her books are published in Europe and Israel. Inbal’s debut picture book as author-illustrator will be published next year in the UK with Scallywag Press.