“Now I lay me down to sleep”

Posted by on Aug 13, 2011 in great moments | No Comments

Pre-Ramble:  A very powerful project/book titled “Where Children Sleep” by documentary photographer, James Mollison recently came to my attention, and I would like to share it with you here.

The following description, in Mollison’s own words, is taken directly from his website.

Where Children Sleep- stories of diverse children around the world, told through portraits and pictures of their bedrooms. (Chris Boot publisher, November 2010)

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.”

A sampling of the 56 diptychs presented in the book are featured on the artists’ website;  the selection shown above is Juan David, age 10, from Medellin, Colombia.

The Take-Away:  Awareness, understanding and compassion are great gifts you can give to the children in your life.  This book would be a great gift too.


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