Focus: They do what...? Byways of the charity world - Albinism Fellowship

Graham Willgoss

The fellowship is, it says, a "positive and sociable" organisation that supports people who lack pigment. This includes a telephone support line and a twice-yearly magazine called Albinism Life.

The group is hoping the film The Da Vinci Code, which was released last week with British actor Paul Bettany among the stars as a murderous albino monk, will provide a chance to educate people.

It says media representations of albinism are predominantly negative and has offered to give the film's creators a briefing to assist them in handling any inquiries related to the condition.

The foundation's softly-softly approach contrasts with its more militant US counterpart, the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation, which has accused the film's producers of propagating "cruel stereotypes".

Bettany defended his role, saying: "It's no more a comment on albinos than it is on monks, and no more a comment on monks than it is on people who wear sandals."

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