Since 2011, World Vitiligo Day has been celebrated on June 25th with great enthusiasm and zeal. However, due to the unexpected outbreak of the novel Coronavirus in many parts of the world, the day was commemorated differently this year. WVD conferences across Europe and North America were canceled, disappointing many who were looking forward to networking opportunities for support groups and research on vitiligo.
Having said that, many beautiful, unique vitiligans from across the world raised awareness around the harmless, widely misunderstood skin disorder, making the most of their social media reach. Here’s what all happened around the world on the occasion of World Vitiligo Day 2020.
In India, where 1% of the country’s 1312.2 million people live with vitiligo, many virtual VWD events were held, including the ones organized by SupportVitiligo and AARUS Foundation. To sensitize people about vitiligo, SupportVitiligo, the country’s oldest vitiligo support network, conducted Vitiligo Educational Talks and held #SupportVitiligoChallenge – an awareness campaign. The support network’s Instagram handle organized a live Q&A session with Prarthana Jagan. The Bangalore-based beauty Vlogger was diagnosed with vitiligo at the age of 11.
World Vitiligo Day 2020’s international headquarters continued its journey and moved from Vietnam to Serbia, under the leadership of Prof. Ivana Binic. Sadly, the tenth annual WVD celebrations could not go as planned. As most of the European countries grappled with the challenges of a full-blown global pandemic, the VRF Board and WVD 2020 President made the difficult decision to covert this year’s awareness conference into an online-only, virtual event.
On the other hand, London-based celebrity chef and author of Mincespiration – Dean Edwards once again did his bit to raise awareness on vitiligo. He tweeted different shades of vitiliginous skin, captioning it “Spreading the love on world vitiligo day.” Dean first rose to fame as a contestant on the BBC cookery show Masterchef.
— Dean Edwards (@Deanedwardschef) June 25, 2020
Karen Ferez, a Mexican dermatologist and founder of ‘Grupo de Apoyo Vitiligo’, arranged for a Photography Exposition called Vitiligo: A Skin of Colors for occasion of the world vitiligo day, which had to be postponed due to the pandemic. However, Karen decided to hold all WVD celebration even more interestingly. Through social media, she asked vitiligans of different nationalities to send her a video, with them saying what vitiligo means to them IN ONE WORD. The objective was to give them a voice as well as raise awareness of the skin condition, decrease stigma and discrimination, embrace diversity, and promote the feeling of unity that transcends borders.
Karen, who herself is living with vitiligo, received videos from 13 nations (Austria, Brasil, Colombia, Cuba Ecuador, El Salvador, España, Estados Unidos, Indonesia, Irlanda, Italia, México, Pakistán). Her team made a compilation of these videos and shared them on June 25th, on different social networks. The photography and video project was held in a collaboration with Panoramica Lab.