Where Children Sleep room full of toys

A child’s bedroom is the very definition of home to her. It is where she sleeps, where she keeps her belongings and where she formulates her hopes and dreams.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos

This intimate space fascinated photographer James Mollison, who documented children around the world and the places in which they sleep for his book, Where Children Sleep.

Where children sleep desert

From wealthy children with rooms full of toys to poor children with nothing more than a rug on the dirt floor, the images cover the full range.

Where children sleep punk bedroom

Mollison photographs the children away from their rooms and in front of a neutral background. In this way, he removes them from their natural contexts and places each one on level ground with one another.

Where children sleep camouflage

But it is the bedrooms pictured next to the children that inspire heartache. The rooms chock full of toys are in some ways just as moving as the sparse and barren chambers.

These small cross sections of children’s homes are merely a tiny glimpse into the varied conditions encountered every day by kids all around the world. But they are touching, beautiful and enlightening in a way that mere words can never be.

Where Children Sleep couch

Via Lens Culture:

“The idea for the project arose when photographer James Mollison decided to engage with the subject of children’s rights. From the start, Mollison was determined to avoid the clichés of ‘needy children in the developing world.’ Instead, he created something inclusive, showing children in all types of situations. His project tackles a difficult topic in an accessible way that is engaging for young and old alike.”

Where children sleep books

“To find the right approach, Mollison reflected back on his youth and searched for what had been significant to his own identity growing up. He quickly zeroed in on the centrality of the bedroom: a single, contained space, one that any person who grew up with a home could relate to. Once he settled on a concept, Mollison developed a consistent and visually engaging lens with which to ‘address some of the complex situations and social issues affecting children everywhere.’”