Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Where Children Sleep

I am fascinated by Where Children Sleep, a picture book by James Mollison that tells the stories of diverse children around the world, told through portraits and pictures of their bedrooms. 

Inspired by the quote "all children are born equal" Mollison has created a collection of photographs which proves this statement to be incorrect. The kids are all between 4-17 but their backgrounds and futures couldn't be more different. There is Bilal, the Bedouin shepheard boy who sleeps with his father's heard of goats; Kaya in Tokyo whose proud mother spends $1,000 per month on her dresses; Indira, a Nepalese girl who has worked in a granite quarry since she was three years old and Ankhohxet, the Kraho boy who sleeps on the floor of a hut in the Amazon.

Mollison says: "When Fabrica asked me to come up with an idea for engaging with children's rights, I found myself thinking about my bedroom: how significant it was during my childhood, and how it reflected what I had and who I was. It occurred to me that a way to address some of the complex situations and social issues affecting children would be to look at the bedrooms of children in all kinds of different circumstances. 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. The book is written and presented for an audience of 9-13 year olds ' intended to interest and engage children in the details of the lives of other children around the world, and the social issues affecting them, while also being a serious photographic essay for an adult audience."

Check out some diptychs from the book below.

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