Where Children Sleep

As I was reading through the New York Times this morning, I stumbled across the following article. The photos are stunning, but what they convey is even more so. In the short span of 19 photos, we’re met with a quick look into how children live, and what they deal with on a daily basis. Children living everywhere from Cambodia, Nepal and Senegal to 5th Avenue, Israel and Appalachia. And in some instances, it’s tough to withhold judgement. Especially when one picture of fortune and abundance is followed by such large-scale poverty.

But I guess that’s the point, right? The stark contrast. Obviously this is a commentary on class and poverty. But to me, it’s also a commentary on childhood and what that looks like in different places around the world. Would that children could actually have a childhood, before being forced to grow up before their time.

What I do love about these photos is that James Mollison, the documentary photographer who took the photos for his book “Where Children Sleep”, was careful to avoid the common devices (toothless smiles and pleading eyes). Instead, he posed his subjects in front of white backgrounds and left the pictures of the children’s bedrooms to do the talking.

Kaya (age 4), portrait

Source: New York Times, Credit: James Mollison

Kaya’s bedroom, Tokyo

Source: New York Times, Credit: James Mollison

***Click here to see more of Mollison’s photos of where children sleep.