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The Truth About Albinism
Mwigulu, a Tanzanian survivor of a superstition-driven attack waits to receive prosthetic care for her left arm at Dare to Dream Home in New York. Mwigulu lives in constant fear of attack and death after having his arm removed by organ traffickers. He is among the nearly 7,000 Tanzanians with albinism, a hereditary condition that results in a lack of pigmentation in skin, hair, and eyes. In Tanzania children with albinism are murdered so their skin, hair, and appendages can be used by witchdoctors to make charms and potions believed to bring wealth and power.
Matilde Simas Born in 1973, Portuguese-American. Her work strives to "Always tell the Truth” and heavily focuses on the beauty of human beings, whatever their origin or wealth. Far from seeking false compassion, she aims to show the dignity of people. Throughout her travels around the world she focuses her work particularly on the theme of human rights, where she attempts to show with utmost respect and admiration the resilience of human beings.
Partnering with non-profit organizations, Simas has traveled to over 40 countries, bearing witness to the enduring power of the human spirit. Simas is passionate about how photography can be used for social change, how it is essential to storytelling, and enables social change groups and organizations to demonstrate the impact of their projects. Recently, she has turned her lens to compelling human trafficking stories and documenting the recovery of trafficked survivors in the United States.
Simas was awarded the 2017 Lucie Foundation International Photography Award under the category of Social Cause. She was also one of the recipients of the 2018 Tokyo Foto Awards in the category of Book/People. Her fine art prints are included in numerous private and corporate collections, including the African Union, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Organization for Migration (UN Migration). Though the majority of her photos appear in humanitarian organization collateral, her images have appeared in publications such as The Guardian, Black & White Magazine and Professional Photographers Magazine. Her client roster includes, among others, Genesis Fund for Children, Boston, MA; Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, Boston, MA; Foundation for Puerto Rico; Big Life Foundation, Kenya; HAART Kenya.
Awards Tokyo International Foto Awards 2020 | Hidden from Society | Gold — people/children
Tokyo International Foto Awards 2020 | Children with a Disability Hidden from Society |HM — editorial/ photo essay
US Department of Justice | Represent Resilience: Learning from Yesterday, Building a Stronger Tomorrow Art Award, 2020
Lucie Foundation International Photography Award 2020| In Shadow: Child Trafficking | Silver —Social Cause
PX3 Prix de la Photographie de Paris 2020| Philippines: Children Living in Perpetual Invisibility | State of the World Prize
PX3 Prix de la Photographie de Paris 2020 | The Truth about Albinism in Annual Report | Bronze
PX3 Prix de la Photographie de Paris 2020 | Philippines: Children Living in Perpetual Invisibility in Press/FeaturePress/Feature Story
Moscow International Foto Award 2020 | Dead Vlei Trees | Gold — Nature / Trees
Tokyo International Foto Awards 2019 | Human Trafficking Philippines | Silver —Editorial Personality
UNICEF Photo of the Year 2019 | Human Trafficking in the Philippines HM
Lucie Foundation International Photo Award 2019| Living with Albinism | Silver — Social Cause
PX3 Prix de la Photographie de Paris 2019 | FGM | State of the World Prize
PX3 Prix de la Photographie de Paris 2019 | Maasai Custom: FGM |Siver — Annual Reports
Lucie Foundation International Photography Award 2018 | FGM | Gold — Social Cause