Albinos, like photographic material, are light sensitive. Light leaves an irreversible imprint on their body. Images portraying albinos emphasize their white beauty—that quality that makes them stand out—while also making them dissolve, consumed by the light.
In these photos, I am trying to present my subjects in a fragile physical state, an unwanted mask. At the same time, I am exploring them as a powerful metaphor for the ‘other.’ The ‘other’ consumed by its ‘mask.’ The ‘other’ defined by physical features which are determined at birth, not by choice. The ‘other’ that has the possibility of turning an inherent fragility into a visual strength.
I am trying to discover and visualize how a fascination with the ‘other’ can mirror our own motives. How the ‘other’ can become an interpretation of the maker’s view, a reflection of a voyeuristic society. In short, I try to show how the subject itself looks back at (and reflects on) us.
Albinos become a metaphor, a symbol for stereotypes. They magnify the erroneous idea of human weaknesses and physical fragility but also that of (un)earthly, breathtaking beauty.
—Sanne de Wilde
Editors’ Note: Sanne de Wilde was named a LensCulture Emerging Talent in 2014. See an overview of all the winners—50 inspiring projects from around the world.