Ugly, Indeed

Party girl Shan Miller

Gee, how many of the millions disabled by leprosy do you think will attend England’s “Leper Festival”? This annual event takes place on January 29, World Leprosy Day, in Taddiport, Devon, a hamlet that was a leprosy colony in the Middle Ages. The festivities include a torchlit procession, a “Leper Ball,” and an “Ugly Pageant.” Everyone is encouraged to dress up in 14th-century peasant dress “complete with spots and sores!” according to the promoter, a local artist named Shan Miller. She says that her “infamous and spectacular” party raises awareness of leprosy and she will even be taking up a collection for LEPRA Health in Action. I guess that in these hard times no nonprofit wants to look a gift horse in the mouth, but it’s hard to believe that LEPRA –which just shamed Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman Animations into changing an offensive “leper boat” scene in their new Hugh Grant movie, “The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists”– does not find this portrayal of leprosy equally distasteful.

2 thoughts on “Ugly, Indeed

  1. You will be pleased to know we have actually spoken to the organisers about changing the name of the event and have explained the need for this.

    Nicolette @LEPRA

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