Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

The Role of African Fiction in Educating about Albinism and Human Rights

Jenny Robson’s Because Pula Means Rain and Ben Hanson’s Takadini

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2017), 11, (3), 271–284.

Abstract

As well as the practical problems associated with living with albinism in sub-Saharan Africa, many people face stigmatization and ostracism because of the beliefs and misconceptions surrounding this genetic condition. The interest here is in how fiction contributes to understandings and raises awareness of the human rights of people with albinism in Africa. Jenny Robson’s Because Pula Means Rain (1998) and Ben Hanson’s Takadini (1997) are aimed at a young adult readership and explore the impact of albinism and their protagonists’ struggle to define an identity for themselves. The article contends that fiction has an important role to play in highlighting the multidimensionality of albinism, and related associations and organizations are beginning to recognize its importance in their advocacy for human rights. The novels discussed belong to a growing body of African literature that explicitly sets out to educate about a range of contemporary social issues.

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Details

Author details

Baker, Charlotte

Lund, Patricia