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GRANT WINNER

ROSA MARINIELLO

Italy

VITILIGO

 

VITILIGO is a series of environmental portraits allowing the viewer inside a private dimension, one which is often painful and too often, rejected. Vitiligo is a chronic condition characterised by depigmented patches of skin due to the loss of melanocytes. It affects 1 to 2% of the world population regardless of age, sex or ethnicity.

 

While the exact cause of the condition remain unknown, available treatments range from creams, lotions, phototherapy and pills. They may help reduce the visibility of vitiligo, but no cure currently exists. Rosa have met and photographed people across five countries - India, China, Denmark, Cuba and Italy. The first are three countries have the highest incidence of vitiligo (for example, in the Gujarat region in India, it reaches 9%). Cuba deserves attention because of a treatment product based on human placenta extract. Several people in Rosa's family in Italy have the condition. Vitiligo inevitably raises questions about beauty, identity, and change. The emotional effects of stigmatisation can be devastating in some respects.

 

In other words, the impact of vitiligo goes beyond the skin. Sufferers undergo a change that is physical as well as psychological because the condition can adversely affect their social interactions, relationships, and career. Rosa strongly believes that more must be done for all people living with the condition, who in most cases just want to be cured. This partly explains why one of her guiding principles for this project has been to capture an authentic image of her subjects, all of who overcame their biggest hurdle – the gaze and judgment of others with great courage and humility. Revealing their bodies was not easy, but by doing so they have demonstrated an ability to accept themselves and their diversity.

 

www.rosamariniello.com