In these wavering economic times, it’s important to give thanks for what you can call your own. Far beyond possessions or material wealth, the value of autonomy and security cannot be underestimated. Photographer James Mollison recently traveled the world, documenting children and the conditions in which they live: more specifically, where they go for comfort and sleep at the end of the day. The heartbreaking photo essay Where Children Sleep, steeped in economic disparity and harrowing circumstances, resulted. It was revealed that fenced-in plots of garbage, piles of clothes, stripped mattresses and tufted pink canopy beds function as acceptable places to sleep, depending on location and circumstance. Deplorable or posh, the conditions are punctuated by telling interviews with the kids. It’s an eye-opener.
Explaining his motivation, Mollison states, “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 different kinds of circumstances. My thinking was that the bedroom pictures would be inscribed with the children’s material and cultural circumstances — the details that invariably mark people apart from each other — while the children themselves would appear in a set of portraits as individuals, as equals…just as children.
“To begin with, I called the project ‘Bedrooms,’ but I soon realized that my own experience of having a ‘bedroom’ simply doesn’t apply to so many kids. Millions of families around the world sleep together in one room, and millions of children sleep in a place of convenience, rather than a place they can in any sense call their room. I came to appreciate just how privileged I am to have had a personal kingdom to sleep in and grow.”
Where Children Sleep is available in its entirety online. Read it here.
[Via Design Mom]
What are you thankful for? Is there a universal standard that all children deserve?