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Noted: Where Children Sleep

Mar 14, 2011

by Alison Feldmann

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

alisontinyhat_archer.jpgIn 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]

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What are you thankful for? Is there a universal standard that all children deserve?

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139 comments

  • AvianInspirations

    AvianInspirations said 5 years ago

    A startlingly tangible way to see the socio-economic disparities in the world.

  • LaAlicia

    LaAlicia said 5 years ago

    Wow! That just breaks my heart. Thank you for bringing light to this, Alison. I think all children deserve to have what they need to be healthy, to be safe and to be loved.

  • grayday

    grayday said 5 years ago

    I love this! I had to include it in my blog last week. It's pretty amazing to see the rooms juxtaposed with the children and their clothes. our 5 month old daughter sleeps in our room and will one day have a room of her own... and as much fun as it will be to "do it up" I want her to have a space for her own crafting and art making and yet not be too over the top... Not sure what the universal standard should be for children's room...? Perhaps one that allows them to feel safe, loved, clean and warm.

  • NangijalaJewelry

    NangijalaJewelry said 5 years ago

    I have been thinking about gratitude a lot lately. This article and the look in the children's eyes is moving me to the core. Thank you for sharing this thought evoking piece!

  • HappyFaceArt

    HappyFaceArt said 5 years ago

    Your pictures, so much emotion. The eyes of the children look and see our shortcomings.

  • Metamorphosi

    Metamorphosi said 5 years ago

    There must be a universal standard. That's love and respect, good food and drinking water.Those photos are amazing

  • PixelGallery

    PixelGallery said 5 years ago

    The faces of these children tells it all. Very sad.

  • FruitOfMyHands

    FruitOfMyHands said 5 years ago

    Oh my. How precious are these little souls.

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 5 years ago

    That is so sad.

  • TripleGemini

    TripleGemini said 5 years ago

    Thank you.

  • OneClayBead

    OneClayBead said 5 years ago

    Heartbreakingly informative. Images that evoke more than words.

  • madebydawnrenee

    madebydawnrenee said 5 years ago

    Wow- as a mother this is heartbreaking :(

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy said 5 years ago

    that was tough. i traveled through china a while back by bus (trains or planes 2 weeks ahead) and it ended up being one of the most enlightening experiences. i stayed with a grapfruit seller in a rural area near guilin; grottos all around and homes in the hamlet made of mud and thatched roofs. besides the mud homes and thatched roofs, ancient rough hewned wood doors that were glossy in areas where the were pushed or pulled to open or close. they had all the amenities and wealth - big tvs, stereo systems, big cars they couldn't get into the hamlet. and it was spotless and the kids were obnoxious, loud and happy. they had just been living that way for centuries. the people in these images look poor, but i don't know if the children belong to the interiors pictured or what the context was when their images were taken. a lot of times, they're very afraid of the person taking the photo so hence the looks. i'd be really careful about mary ellen mark-ing things because it's not always as it seems... and having all the things in the world can't bring you a sense of wellbeing.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 5 years ago

    Children adapt to many different conditions. Great story and pictures!

  • natalyboutique

    natalyboutique said 5 years ago

    very sad

  • SacredSymbolStudios

    SacredSymbolStudios said 5 years ago

    "Where Children Sleep" opens our Eyes to worlds we may not realize exist. It opens our Hearts to the less advantaged and our Minds, to acknowledge how privilaged we are. We are given the opportunity to be truly grateful and perhaps, moved to help others. Thankyou for this blog.

  • MACstyles

    MACstyles said 5 years ago

    This is such a great piece of work. I will be sharing it with my own children tonight.

  • nadene

    nadene said 5 years ago

    I loved teaching children with these kinds of images; one can find similarities and recognize how our own cultures may appear from one outside look. Not all of this is 'sad' to me, but the photography style is certainly stark and lends an air of cold to even the abundant bedrooms featured. Children looking at these images will come up with the most interesting and insightful responses, such as those who have 'less' in the eyes of adults often have 'more' in the eyes of children~shared family space, outdoors, animals, etc. As a quick example: My students in Japan thought that a very 'poor' family in Samoa looked so lucky because they had a tree and animals. The perpetuation of having financially less (or even less resources) as an absolute correlation with a heartbreaking life does not serve us well. Not to say that 'helping' is not in order, but those who consider themselves the 'helpers' often find their own hearts have the further to grow. I love that this work is non-judgmental. It's interesting to reflect on our own judgments when we see one element of life represented in pictures.

  • emichats

    emichats said 5 years ago

    Those faces- those rooms. It is a startling and necessary reminder of how far we still have to go to make the world a better place for the future.

  • BooPatch

    BooPatch said 5 years ago

    What a reminder that we over-indulge in what we deem to be "necessary" items...how awe inspiring these children are who strive to be more from such meager and humbling beginnings...Thank you. I will be sharing this with many people...

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    ThePolkadotMagpie said 5 years ago

    Alison, this is some stunning docu-art. Glaring differences. Thanks!

  • AmberHeartOfTheFinch

    AmberHeartOfTheFinch said 5 years ago

    wow! poignant. Shared. x

  • SoliDeoGloriaSDG

    SoliDeoGloriaSDG said 5 years ago

    How very tragic - not only the children who live in poverty and deprivation; but also the children who have an over abundance.

  • MzLoca

    MzLoca said 5 years ago

    Intriguing subject that really impacts those of us who are lucky enough to put our children to sleep at night safe and sound.

  • polkadotsandblooms

    polkadotsandblooms said 5 years ago

    no words would adequately describe my feelings when looking at these images, however, I am full of admiration for these kids!

  • PthaloAzul

    PthaloAzul said 5 years ago

    It's interesting to see what children keep near them when they don't have the opportunity to have very much. Like that picture of Salvador Dali, or that picture of (I think) Jet Li...I wish I knew the story behind them.

  • MarvelousMelissa

    MarvelousMelissa said 5 years ago

    Wow!

  • MarvelousMelissa

    MarvelousMelissa said 5 years ago

    Wow!

  • yellowgrey

    yellowgrey said 5 years ago

    wow. the photographs are so expressive.

  • WoolnFelt

    WoolnFelt said 5 years ago

    These dwelling look like paradise compared to what you will find in my own neighborhoods of south florida.

  • ParkandBuzz

    ParkandBuzz said 5 years ago

    Thank you soooo much for sharing this!

  • Verdurebydesign

    Verdurebydesign said 5 years ago

    This is an eye opening and heart wrenching feature. The most disturbing thing is looking into the childrens eyes. They say so much and it breaks my heart. All children (and human beings) deserve to be emotionally cared for...loved, nurtured, cherished.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 5 years ago

    Incredible to see the diversity, its so sad that some kids do live in bad conditions but perhaps thats the best their families can afford...

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 5 years ago

    Their eyes is speaking , no need more words !

  • StudioConestoga

    StudioConestoga said 5 years ago

    A very powerful feature. Thank you for sharing! My 2yo daughter has a tiny room which one day she might have to share with a sibling. I used to feel bad about it till I saw how much worse off these children are. Unfortunately these children's bedrooms speak volumes about their living situations and the basics they probably don't have; like food, water, and a safe clean shelter. Children need a room to call their own but more than that they need the above and love

  • jibbyandjuna

    jibbyandjuna said 5 years ago

    Without a doubt the most poignant post ever. Well done James. And I'm glad to see Etsy supporting art that opens our eyes and challenges our ideas.

  • karensartworld

    karensartworld said 5 years ago

    This story really touches the heart. The photo essay and article are a true window into a world where children flourish under all living conditions.

  • renewool

    renewool said 5 years ago

    I spent time in Navisha Kenya, the children slept in a chicken coop~ but even in that poverty of "stuff", they were thankful for the place to lay their head

  • ETALIE

    ETALIE said 5 years ago

    Due to my full-time job, I had travelled to many countries of the world, and grew up myself in the country, where not every kid had their own room. The author tried to show the poverty, and the horrible conditions to the western people, who buy for their kids McDonalds Happy meal, game for Playstation and new t-shirt every week, and supply with the separate bedrooms. I wish the author showed the reality, which is sometimes very different, than it seems. Most of the children are very happy, despite the poverty, and lack of toys in their life. They run outside, they play, very simple things make them happy and bring smile on their faces. Some of them grew in very strong and open-minded adults , who set very good goals not only for themselves. Children are children!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 5 years ago

    I wonder how many of the "poor" kids will grow up to be doctors, teachers & other useful & cheerful members of society... & how many of the "rich" ones will end up as over-privileged, whinging parasites? Not having much stuff as a child doesn't make you into a lesser adult, it doesn't even make you a miserable kid. A safe environment, healthy food, clean water & access to an education are really all a child actually needs. If only we can provide that for all the children of the world...

  • soulfuse

    soulfuse said 5 years ago

    This is saddening and gripping! So many of us are oblivious to what we do have....the things we take for granted. A timely article. I hope we see more of these types of features.

  • RuthHaokip

    RuthHaokip said 5 years ago

    Incredible. I really connect with the first photograph there because it looks like a snapshot from my mother-in-law's house (or should I say hut?) in India. My husband comes from a very poor background.

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 5 years ago

    Maybe they’re very happy, from loving families and proud of their rooms. A picture is worth a thousand words and we may be only reading 243 of them based on our own experience and values. Great article. Have looked through the book. Brilliant. And no - those children don't belong to those rooms.

  • twoandyou

    twoandyou said 5 years ago

    Incredible but true. Great article.

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 5 years ago

    So true all children no matter who they are and where they live deserve the beast food, good health care, to be loved, wanted protected, and cared for to have a fun, great life and just be able to be kids.

  • shannondzikas

    shannondzikas said 5 years ago

    These photos got me right in the gut. My sweet son is asleep in his crib and since I had him I don't look at other children the same. There's all this love in me. Best blog yet in my humble opinion!

  • jungledread

    jungledread said 5 years ago

    Wow, this is such an eye-opener! Not only to their conditions, but how we value children more than adults. Why am I move more about someone's living condition when it's a child. Why am I not moved when it is an adult?

  • simplyworn

    simplyworn said 5 years ago

    wow...this struck a cord. food and shelter are fundamental needs yet there are so many with so very little!

  • Krystyna81

    Krystyna81 said 5 years ago

    Universal standard that all children deserve... Hard question. Love? Acceptance? Access to clean food and water? The opportunity to fulfill their greatlest potential as Human Beings.

  • HvZjewelry

    HvZjewelry said 5 years ago

    Thank you!

  • frommylifetoyours

    frommylifetoyours said 5 years ago

    The pictures of those children and their eyes really make you thankful for what you have.

  • BlueEnchantedBride

    BlueEnchantedBride said 5 years ago

    ....I saw a lot of things like this in my own country ,Venezuela,...this pictures are AMAZING!!!...if you are impress with this pictures..imagen how it feel see it and knowing a child sleep there.

  • stepbackink

    stepbackink said 5 years ago

    This is a hambling article. We never know how priviliged we are till we are exposed to others misfortunes. Thank you for the reminder.

  • ShoponSherman

    ShoponSherman said 5 years ago

    So sad to see some of the beds. Thank you, God, for all I have and have had. Amen.

  • awpphotography

    awpphotography said 5 years ago

    Very interesting. And thank you for posting this. You captured the souls of those children .... very well done.

  • iacua

    iacua said 5 years ago

    wonderful story, thank you!

  • SeasonsGleanings

    SeasonsGleanings said 5 years ago

    A universal standard? ALL children deserve love, warmth, safety, nourishment,education, clean air, water,peace and to be able to BE children.Those things shouldn't be a privilege for some, but a right for all. I dream of a world where that is possible, and try to make choices/live in ways that will help it to be so. My heart aches to see the reality that exists for so many of these children, and am SO deeply thankful that my children were never hungry, and were able to play, learn and live in a safe place growing up.

  • SailThouForth

    SailThouForth said 5 years ago

    Very thought-provoking. Thanks for sharing!

  • BarnshopAntiques

    BarnshopAntiques said 5 years ago

    I am no stranger to what some children can endure and overcome after working over ten years with abused and neglected children in DCF homes. I like to think my daughter sets the standard for what a child needs. She wrote a blog with similar title, but more about how things should be, what she does for her children. http://itchinstitchin.blogspot.com/2010/12/rooms-where-children-sleep.html We try to help where we can. I know all children deserve LOVE, hope and balance would be nice extras.

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 5 years ago

    most children deserve better.

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 5 years ago

    to be clear. in response to the question "What are you thankful for? Is there a universal standard that all children deserve?" i say most children deserve better than what they get. a very small amount get all the good things they deserve and i wish it was like that for them all.

  • SweetMoonlightShop

    SweetMoonlightShop said 5 years ago

    so very heartbreaking.

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz said 5 years ago

    So sad........thanks for sharing.

  • silkoak

    silkoak said 5 years ago

    Profound! Thank you for sharing this.

  • rebourne

    rebourne said 5 years ago

    thank you for the good reminder that even in current circumstances that sometimes seem bleak, every day i have something to be grateful for: a roof that works, running water, electricity, a sink, two toilets, a shower, warm and hot water, a couch, a computer, healthy children, family, food every day. striking portraits. intriguing subject matter.

  • iroirocrafts

    iroirocrafts said 5 years ago

    I found this post really enlightening..and also sad. It certainly makes me grateful for how much care my parents put into making my room a comfortable place to sleep, and also to live in. It was 'my room', which is a lot more than can be said for some of these children.

  • GemmaBeads

    GemmaBeads said 5 years ago

    heart-wrenching. every child deserves cleanliness and warmth.

  • wolfmothercommune

    wolfmothercommune said 5 years ago

    what an intense and moving project.

  • purplmama

    purplmama said 5 years ago

    WOW... I'm humbled and I'm ashamed at all the moments that I wanted to lavish more onto my 5 yr old son... He has all that he needs: two parents that can provide essentials and that adore him... Thank you for this reality check.. I just ordered the book.

  • rusticCrush

    rusticCrush said 5 years ago

    I just clicked through the book and it really touched my heart. So many people, including myself, spend so much time worrying about what our children's rooms look like and less time just being grateful for the roof over their heads. Thank you for posting this.

  • CositasSeriasVintage

    CositasSeriasVintage said 5 years ago

    By far one of my favorite blog posts yet. I agree with rusticCrush's post above my own. Such a beautiful photo documentation.

  • riskybeads

    riskybeads said 5 years ago

    wow. i'll never forget that. ever.

  • timandmichelle

    timandmichelle said 5 years ago

    what a quick crash back to earth - the things we value do not compare to this, who are we to worry about the clothes on our backs, the stuff in our closets - I try to teach my children this but life and myself sometimes needs to be pulled back in. Thank you

  • popkingarb

    popkingarb said 5 years ago

    i agree there should be universal standards, especially for children. they have a right to a comfortable and caring home. well this is just one issue over-looked by some governments. i hope in the near future, the world will get to notice these things and take action.

  • birdie1

    birdie1 said 5 years ago

    Very enlightening and thought-provoking, Alison. Thank you for using your talent in ways that make a difference to your readers and hopefully our world.

  • SewSweetandSimple

    SewSweetandSimple said 5 years ago

    I have to agree with nadene. Children who have less should not be considered unhappy. A picture is worth a thousand words and a loving family is what makes one thrive. Great Article!

  • TreeHuggerStudio

    TreeHuggerStudio said 5 years ago

    Awesome article. God bless all children.LOVE

  • FOYI

    FOYI said 5 years ago

    Best said by Auden; There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die.

  • taylordavi

    taylordavi said 5 years ago

    There's a uniformity of expression in their eyes. A fearful sadness. I'm unsure though whether that is the photographer's intent - to capture what "he" sees? Or wants "us" to see? I think irregardless of "where children sleep" they go to where they feel safe. I don't think it really matters where that is. Where ever it is there is someone there who cares for them. I also noticed the point of view was from an American perusing other cultures socio-economic situations. Why would someone want to spotlight the poverty of other cultures children when there is so much poverty here in America? He should turn his camera to the bedrooms of American children. That may be thought provoking too.

  • amarillosky

    amarillosky said 5 years ago

    Looking at the faces of those kids - I'm sure we can all see some resemblance to someone we know. It's a really small world, we all bleed red, these kids are our kids.

  • bedouin

    bedouin said 5 years ago

    I feel for children born into war and violence. It starts with a safe space,not how much you have in it.

  • TheMillineryShop

    TheMillineryShop said 5 years ago

    Wow, that was very intense. It IS about a safe place and not how much you have.

  • DejaVuExperience

    DejaVuExperience said 5 years ago

    WOW. Incredibly moving. Would love to see the rest of his photographs.

  • pogoshop

    pogoshop said 5 years ago

    Definitely not as sad as the situation of children whose homes and beds were swept away in a Tsunami, but don't you think that last picture is sad too? What is a child learning when their bounty of toys is stacked to the ceiling and dominates the space they live in?

  • JepsonGirls

    JepsonGirls said 5 years ago

    Sometimes it's good to remind our children that we are very blessed with nice sheets,pillows and blankets.When I was a young teacher, it was required that we do home visits during the summer for all the children we were to have the following year.It was hot,it was scary climbing the stairs in the old apartment buildings with the rats running across in front of me,it was tearful, it was stressful worrying if all my car parts would be there when I was ready to leave,it was rewarding when I was greeted with open arms and a plate of one cookie and a half of a cheese sandwich(which I always took at least one bite), but it was something that left an image I will never forget and I became a better teacher for doing it....We all need to see... where children sleep..we would perhaps understand why the classroom is so important.....

  • JesseMosher

    JesseMosher said 5 years ago

    wow very interesting

  • BeCharmedDesigns

    BeCharmedDesigns said 5 years ago

    impressive images!

  • MayBeMe

    MayBeMe said 5 years ago

    breathtaking

  • MayBeMe

    MayBeMe said 5 years ago

    breathtaking

  • gri0tte

    gri0tte said 5 years ago

    Thank you!

  • evihan

    evihan said 5 years ago

    very touchy

  • mummyjo01

    mummyjo01 said 5 years ago

    Thank you for such an insightful piece. Y'know, my three young children have their own decorated rooms, toys, books, comfy beds and western "essentials", yet they are happiest in Mummy and Daddy's room either on the floor on a mattress, or in our bed. They are telling me, "hey, Mama, I don't need the bells and whistles, I just need you". And in my heart of hearts I believe that is what all children - besides food and shelter - no matter what socio-economic circumstance dictates, - really need - love. I can and will always grant that need to my children.

  • poorjimsvintage

    poorjimsvintage said 5 years ago

    I'd say children need love, affection and support rather than an abundance of toys. You can have many possesions and live in a loveless home and never be happy with life.

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 5 years ago

    I was just reading the above post, how true. Children are so very precious, hug them every day, love them unconditionally because you just never know how your life can change in the blink of an eye. As a mother who lost my first daughter to crib death, I've learned to cherish every moment I have with my remaining 4 children, they are my whole world. And even though it's been 29 years since she left this earth, it's something you never get over. Love your children, always...

  • HoneysuckleLane

    HoneysuckleLane said 5 years ago

    How sad and so very thought-provoking.

  • melaniegs32

    melaniegs32 said 5 years ago

    This thought-provoking blog proves that we need to be the voice and the advocate for children and babies around the world

  • LaughLand

    LaughLand said 5 years ago

    So why do we tend to equate poverty with a lack of safety and lack of love? True that some poor kids live in unsafe surroundings and this is certainly not good. These rooms may not be what we are used to, but doesn't mean the kids aren't any less loved than our precious darlings. Jungledread, you are spot on. Why do poor living circumstances for children touch us collectively more than poor living circumstances for adults? I work with people who have disabilities, mostly intellectual disabilities. They sure looked cute in photos as children, even if pulling a face. But their often desperately deprived and difficult lives don't touch us now. Because they are no longer cute?

  • mytrinketdoll

    mytrinketdoll said 5 years ago

    A truly deplorable statement on humanity, when a child's one corner of solice can not be revered by their parents. Poverty is one thing ... but I have seen similar rooms in my own backyard: my upper class neighborhood, friends of my children and even family. Please continue to expose our neighbors' closed doors, across the affluent and poor, to see where true values lie.

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 5 years ago

    Thank you for posting this. Tragic but true.

  • blessedvintage

    blessedvintage said 5 years ago

    I have always felt blessed in my life to be born in america to a middle class family. You wish every child could have a safe,happy,and fun childhood! namaste

  • DarkParlorArt

    DarkParlorArt said 5 years ago

    The answer to your question is a resounding...... YES!! The Children of the world Thank You!

  • thestapeliacompany

    thestapeliacompany said 5 years ago

    Wow. These pictures are disturbing. In some, you see the absolute poverty these kids deal with everyday and how little they have, and in others, you see the gluttony and over-consumption. There has to be some middle ground so everyone has what they need, right? Sad.

  • beadyiz

    beadyiz said 5 years ago

    A truly profound statement -- thank you for sharing.

  • Freefred

    Freefred said 5 years ago

    heartbreaking and touching, moving images. Luckily I think my children realise and appreciate how lucky they are and I hope they will share this with their own children one day. Maybe if enough people did, the world would be a better place, and children deserve, indeed have the right to a good, safe place to call their own.

  • herrondipity

    herrondipity said 5 years ago

    Thanks for putting this up. I read through the entire book. The stories are so heart wrenching of the poor children. The haves and have nots. And so many of the poorest ones want to be doctors when they grow up. If only they are given the chance.

  • TheLittleRagamuffin

    TheLittleRagamuffin said 5 years ago

    I met some of the happiest children while living in Thailand -filled with life and love. They spent their days climbing wild fruit trees and playing with their extended family all living under one roof. If my young nieces and nephews had seen the conditions in which they lived they would have pitied them. I feel worse for my niece whose bedroom looks like one of the pictures -packed to the brim with stuff. Will she ever know the true joy of climbing trees or be able to explore her imagination the way these "less fortunate" children did? Health and welfare are one thing, but a child's material possessions often fool us into a false sense of happiness -just like when we're grown up.

  • DIVINEsweetness

    DIVINEsweetness said 5 years ago

    this brought a tear to my eye... seeing those innocent faces with traces of uncertainties in their eyes...

  • PlumeandPetals

    PlumeandPetals said 5 years ago

    These photographs make me speechless... Thank you for posting this.

  • luluhopping1983

    luluhopping1983 said 5 years ago

    This is such a fascinating article. Its really interesting to see how others live in other parts of the world, as well as closer to home. I have to agree with some of the other comments though. Just because someone grows up with money does not always mean they are happy. I often find myself feeling more sorry for the rich, pampered and overweight children than the less well off in the article. This does not mean that i dont feel sympathy for the working and homeless children. It is very sad that in these times people are living like this.

  • KeepEvolving

    KeepEvolving said 5 years ago

    Thank you for this eye opening article and photos.

  • suzshan

    suzshan said 5 years ago

    It's easy to say there should be a universal standard that children deserve if one has any sense of altruism or humanity. However, some of this is taken out of context. I don't think it's fair to compare children in the U.S. or developed areas vs. children who are living in the third world or other regions. Who should set the standard? How do we respect what is culturally appropriate? A child who sleeps on a mat on the floor may feel they own the world because they have a sense of place and are loved vs. the child who has the princess bed and all the toys/possessions she could want but her parents fight and provide no love or discipline. It tugs at the heart, but really needs to be kept in perspective.

  • ChrissiesRibbons

    ChrissiesRibbons said 5 years ago

    An incredible project with stunnng photography. Really fascinating and humbling

  • StephDonoghue

    StephDonoghue said 5 years ago

    This is really interesting, thank you for sharing. I'm thankful that I grew up in a family where you were spoilt by time together not by possessions. As for a universal standard - there already is one even if it isn't practiced everywhere, The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - read more about it here http://www.unicef.org.uk/UNICEFs-Work/Our-mission/Childrens-rights/

  • littleshopofphotos

    littleshopofphotos said 5 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this story.

  • MandyBesek

    MandyBesek said 5 years ago

    Thank you Alison, this one really made me step back and think.

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice said 5 years ago

    Powerful images. Reminds me of one of my favorite artists, Wendy Ewald.

  • itsasimplelife

    itsasimplelife said 5 years ago

    So many children are forced to struggle with seemingly impossible circumstances. I've had years of frustration with Children's Services and my grandchildren's tragic living conditions trying desperately to make them realize that children don't have a choice and don't have a voice...I just pray...

  • SmokyMountainVintage

    SmokyMountainVintage said 5 years ago

    A recent story on 60 Minutes interviewed homeless children in Seminole Co., FL. I was in tears before it ended. The families living in vehicles or motels have increased drastically over the last few years. The families have lost everything. That means the kids have lost it all, too. These people are not drug addicts or on the wrong side of the law. They legitimately lost everything when they lost their jobs. I see daily pleas for donations for many things, but rarely for help for help to feed our American children. In my county in NC, teachers noticed 3 & 4 year olds in the Smart Start program sneaking food into their book bags. When questioned, they told the teachers that they were taking it home so they would have something to eat on the weekend. Heartbreaking. There is a donation jar in just about every store in our town for the Humane Society, but none for kids. I wonder what kind of response we would get if we posted a treasury on Etsy for donations to feed OUR kids! How much response would we get? We all live such sheltered lives. The news media is not reporting what is happening here. My heart goes out to all of the harship cases around the world, but what about in our own backyard? Sad. Great job on the bedroom photos. They are heartbreaking.

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 5 years ago

    ...and now there are the shelters in Japan...sweet babies...

  • RainbowBabyTiedye

    RainbowBabyTiedye said 5 years ago

    Great article but I really found the comments interesting with some very well thought out. We all need to see the world through "others" eyes, especially those of children.

  • PariahPipeCompany

    PariahPipeCompany said 5 years ago

    What a fabulous eye opening project. As a society we tend to attribute poor economic times with having to cut back on "extras" like Starbucks and premium movie channels. In general we tend to turn a blind eye to things that are out of sight, and we have mastered putting them out of our mind. These photos force people to see how horribly some people are living. Maybe making us see these conditions will force us to think about them and help contribute to a solution?

  • rerunzvintageshop

    rerunzvintageshop said 5 years ago

    No mater how ugly the "World" is.....Jesus loves the little children:)

  • daisycasillas

    daisycasillas said 5 years ago

    I second suzshan!

  • realfaery

    realfaery said 5 years ago

    I love the articule. But do not forget tHose kids having a roof over their head and having a family who care about them are still lucky. THere are many more without a roof...without a family.

  • tribenouveau

    tribenouveau said 5 years ago

    Enlightening story. This reminds me and hopefully others that no matter how bad our situations may be, there are others that are worse off. Its helps me to be humble and thankful for what we have. This was powerful imagery,thank You for sharing.

  • paintingluv

    paintingluv said 5 years ago

    Teaching public school to grade 7&8, I looked into eyes older and sadder than my own. I saw overweight stiffened bodies and a hardened shell of hurt. The lingering stench of smoke filled trailers hung to their dirty clothing. They wore coats all day, every day or were in shorts and flip flops in stinging wind chills. The third world is here in Lebanon, Tennessee and the time of despair is now.

  • MiniatureRhino

    MiniatureRhino said 5 years ago

    just spent some time read this book & am so touched by their stories. it's an amazing project. thank you for sharing!...

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 5 years ago

    I loved this / and was shocked !

  • ybunnygurl

    ybunnygurl said 5 years ago

    I'll tell you what I'm thankful for someone who loves me and knowing no matter what happens to me unless my mom and dad die they will always be there for me. And if you asked me what every child deserve its to know that some one truly loves them, and cares what happens to them. Money makes no difference, I know children who had every toy in the universe and got every thing they wanted but felt like no one loved them, and I know children who have nothing but the cloths on there back and a small spot on the floor and know there there just a side thought of mom and dad.

  • toniayers1

    toniayers1 said 5 years ago

    Children deserve to be respected, loved, and nurtured . Thank you for reminding us all that not everyone is, so treasure what you have to offer the world.

  • ArtistTooStudios

    ArtistTooStudios said 5 years ago

    I was touched by those photographs. I thought about the children's faces. What thoughts lie beyond those expressions?

  • honeystreasures

    honeystreasures said 5 years ago

    Very moving piece.

  • kbimages

    kbimages said 5 years ago

    Thank you for sharing the story.

  • ThePoetOrTheMuse

    ThePoetOrTheMuse said 5 years ago

    I've seen rooms like the one filled with guns and hunting stuff- it's sickening for a child's bedroom to look like that. Those rooms would be crappy to sleep in and make me feel grateful that I have always had a nice place to sleep. But these kids are lucky to have anywhere to sleep at all... we all are! I know there are children with no bedroom, in some cases no shelter at all. It is a very sad truth.

  • stellasavestheday

    stellasavestheday said 5 years ago

    Unbelievably stark and and heartwrenching. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  • FreakyPeas

    FreakyPeas said 5 years ago

    wow, I am going to donate all my kids toys. We have way too much crap.

  • TheBeachyHouse

    TheBeachyHouse said 5 years ago

    wow. this is really an eye opener. I am always trying to find new things for my room but i realize how fortunate i really am

  • Sommersbreezeantique

    Sommersbreezeantique said 5 years ago

    One thing that i can not grasp, why do people bring children into their lives when they don't even have a clean bed for them to sleep in? This is not to say that only people of money should have children, but rather why do those that can not provide a stable life for a child bring them into this world? Sound cold? Well, just look above.....no child should live in those conditions! And as of the last glorified bedroom, well, that is not the answer either! just my thoughts.

  • My Homepage said 2 years ago

    ... [Trackback] [...] Informations on that Topic: blog.etsy.com/en/2011/noted-where-children-sleep/ [...]

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