The parrot with its squinting eye half open was the beginning of the pro- ject; a "tropical" symbol for colors. It was later colored by an achromatope not aware of which colors she was using (yet applying them quite correctly). © Sanne De Wilde.
Jaynard (achromatope) is playing in the garden with the branch of a banana tree that had to be cut down. He’s wearing the mask I made for him for Halloween. He loved it so he kept putting it on the days after. © Sanne De Wilde
Jaynard (achromatope) climbs a tree in the garden, to pick fruits and play. I took the picture while he was climbing back down. The sun comes peeking through the branches; bright light makes him keep his eyes closed. Sadly local people are often not growing their own food. But the trees around them naturally grow coconuts, breadfruit, bananas and leaves used to chew the betelnuts.The Island of the Colorblind.In the late eighteenth century a catastrophic typhoon swept over Pingelap, a tiny atoll in the Pacific Ocean. One of the survivors, the king, carried the rare achromatopsia-gen that causes complete colorblindness. The king went on to have many children and as time passed by, the hereditary condition affected the isolated community and most islanders started seeing the world in black and white.Achromatopsia is characterized by extreme light sensitivity, poor vision, and complete inability to distinguish colors. Portraying the islanders that by their fellow Micronesians are described as ‘blind’ resulted in a conceptual selection of images that mask their eyes, their face, or their "vision" and at the same time invite the viewer to enter a dreamful world of colorful possibilities. © Sanne De Wilde
Jaynard (achromatope) plays with a disco-light-torch I brought from Belgium. I asked him what he saw. He answered "colors" and kept staring into the light. © Sanne De Wilde
A Pingelapese child is playing with fire. On the island they burn all the trash. At the same time, holding and moving around a burning branch is good to keep the mosquitos away. An achromatopic picture-painting, filled in with watercolor paint by someone with achromatopic vision. © Sanne De Wilde
Eric (achromatope) is posing for a flashlight-portrait. On Pingelap there is only solar electricity, at night everyone walks along the one, main street with a torch. I asked him to hold still and look at the light. Naturally, because of his sensitivity to light, his eyes turn to the back of his head while looking into the light. © Sanne De Wilde
A pile of fishing nets in the shape of a mountain close to the domestic air- port in Pohnpei from where the tiny airplane (carrying 4-6 people) sets off to Pingelap. © Sanne De Wilde
On the way back from a picknick to one of the uninhabited small islands around Pingelap with the colorblind Pingelapese and all the children of the one school of the island. The bay is now protected, islanders are no longer al- lowed to fish for turtles. Because of the infrared colors the scene looks very romantic, at the same time there’s the visual connotation of the boats full of refugees setting off for a better future.
© Sanne de Wilde
The Island of the Colorblind by Sanne De Wilde (Kehrer Verlag)