I came across this incredible book a few months ago, but it only recently popped into my mind to write about here for some reason. It's an amazing set of portraits by James Mollison called Where Children Sleep. Mollison had the novel idea to take pictures of children's bedrooms to show the disparities between how children live all over the world. The idea was that all children sleep somewhere, but those places are very different! I love Mollison's own description of how he developed this project:
From the start, I didn't want it just to be about 'needy children' in the developing world, but rather something more inclusive, about children from all types of situations. It seemed to make sense to photograph the children themselves, too, but separately from their bedrooms, using a neutral background. My thinking was that the bedroom pictures would be inscribed with the children's material and cultural circumstances ' the details that inevitably mark people apart from each other ' while the children themselves would appear in the set of portraits as individuals, as equals ' just as children.
Here some of Mollison's portraits below:
Of course, this got me thinking about my own children's bedrooms, and what it says about them and their lives. These pictures are obviously from all over the world. And I wouldn't presume to say that just because a child is not sleeping in a room that looks like my kid's room in America that he or she is not loved or happy. But, it's hard to see the picture of the mattress above and know a little boy actually sleeps there. When I tuck my children in at night, I see warm beds, soft pjs, and loveys to hold if they get scared. And I wish that were true for all children.
On Friday I will post some links to organizations that help children who don't have their own place to sleep. And after seeing these pictures, I will definitely be mailing off a lovey or some warm pjs to a child who needs them this weekend!