In James Mollison’s photo essay, Where Children Sleep, Mollison has photographed children from around the world, ages 4 – 16, and the places they sleep. Their names, ages, and the country they live in has been recorded and displayed. Some sleep in their bedrooms located somewhere in their first world country while others obviously share a communal sleeping space with friends, family, and/or neighbors, most likely. Other children are in between these extremes, which, I am aware, are also stereotypes. You can probably easily discern the child’s family’s economic status from most of the pictures (Or you can make an educated about the family’s economic status based on how much money was put into furnishing and decorating the child’s bedroom). Some of the children are privileged with their own beds, bedrooms, and toys, while others share a bed and/or bedroom, and have their daily living supplies piled up next to their beds. Looking at some pictures make me wish that I lived in a room that’s that cool, and others made me sad. It’s impossible not to compare and contrast the living arrangements and imagine what the children’s lives are like outside of that bedroom. I know this sounds horrible, but I found myself liking some children better than others. ‘Like’ isn’t the right word. Respect. That’s better. I think that, like I do, other people tend to respect people that work hard or have had to struggle a lot in their lives, especially when that person is at a young age. We wonder what other aspects of their lives, other than economic status and living arrangement, are similar or different.
However, there are a lot of things that you can’t discern from the picture. There are some very important aspects of my life that you couldn’t discover by looking at a headshot of me and a photo of my bedroom.
This photo essay takes an interesting look at these children and their lives, but there are a lot of other aspects of their lives.
This photo essay left me assuming, guessing, comparing, contrasting, and wondering.