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Where Children Sleep Around the World

Where Children Sleep presents English-born photographer James Mollison’s photographs of children’s bedrooms around the world – from the U.S.A., Mexico, Brazil, England, Italy, Israel and the West Bank, Kenya, Senegal, Lesotho, Nepal, China and India – alongside portraits of the children themselves.

The differences between each child and his or her bedroom are striking: Kaya in Tokyo, whose proud mother spends $1,000 a month on her dresses; Bilal the Bedouin shepherd boy, who sleeps outdoors with his father’s herd of goats; and the Nepali girl Indira, who has worked in a granite quarry since she was three.

“I hope the book gives a glimpse into the lives some children are living in very diverse situations around the world; a chance to reflect on the inequality that exists, and realise just how lucky most of us in the developed world are,” – says James.

Website: | Book: Where Children Sleep

Dong, 9, Yunnan, China

Indira, 7, Kathmandu, Nepal

Bilal, 6, Wadi Abu Hindi, The West Bank

Ahkohxet, 8, Amazonia, Brazil

Alex, 9, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Bikram, 9, Melamchi, Nepal

Tzvika, 9, Beitar Illit, The West Bank

Douha, 10, Hebron, The West Bank

Joey, 11, Kentucky, USA

Lamine, 12, Bounkiling village, Senegal

Prena, 14, Kathmandu, Nepal

Anonymous, 9, Ivory Coast

Rhiannon, 14, Darvel, Scotland

Nantio, 15, Lisamis, Northern Kenya

Risa, 15, Kyoto, Japan

Netu, 11, Kathmandu, Nepal

Roathy, 8, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Jasmine (Jazzy), 4, Kentucky, USA

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What do you think?

  • Relena Sherrier via Facebook

    Well…the ones of the USA are very bias against kids here in the US. Not pleased as it would appear that the photographer is trying to paint in incorrect picture of those kids just to make a point that is based on his own opinions. I know my daughter who hates anything pink or pageantry would be highly offended and my boys do not have camouflage or artillery flanking their very modest rooms. In fact, we have a mattress on the floor right now. I think the extremes here are very intentional…not appreciated at all. DISLIKE

  • Carolina Llanos via Facebook


  • Kirsty Cherrie via Facebook

    Beautiful pictures but i agree with Relena, the representation of the Western world is extreme.

  • Kirsty Cherrie via Facebook

    A normal child with everything they own would have been enough to show inequality, there was no need for the extreme versions

  • Kim Methot via Facebook


  • Tracy Losey via Facebook

    wow. I find the American bedrooms the most disturbing of all.

  • Bibi Vivi via Facebook

    I think the same …

  • Teddi Hristova via Facebook

    well the poverty in the pictures is also extreme, u dont suppose all of the kids in these countries are so poor, do you ?! and yes, the artist used these particular cases in order to emphasis the cultural difference. problem ? :-)

  • Altynay Rakhmatullina via Facebook

    Well, there was enough to learn anyway. I think people generally understand that not all US children are like this.

  • Relena Sherrier via Facebook

    YES…those kids from the US in these pics are being raised by parents that are overly indulgent. Sickening…but I am sure there are pics of US kids living in very poor conditions…and I bet there are kids in those other countries that are in far better conditions than represented here. Making a point with extreme images does nothing for the message. Kirsty has it right…show a normal child in the US and the message would be that…yes…we do have it better in a lot of ways. What I see with the gun images and the crowns sickens me!

  • Relena Sherrier via Facebook

    As an Artist and Photographer, I am not a fan of this artist at all.

  • Valérie Gariépy

    Obvioulsy, ALL the kids in the world can not be photograped, so these are examples of what exist. I’m sad to read people feel personally attacked because the where not represented…

    • Lcarr

      I find the pictures an artistic representation of childhood sleep. I didn’t expect to see here a representative sample from each country, that would not make seance as art. I love these pictures for what they are. They show a demonstration of how children live their intimate lives in extreme situations.

  • Nicole Öhlmann via Facebook

    So impressive.

  • Carr

    I find the pictures an artistic representation of childhood sleep. I didn’t expect to see here a representative sample from each country, that would not make seance as art. I love these pictures for what they are. They show a demonstration of how children live their intimate lives in extreme situations

  • Mark Heyen via Facebook

    @Kirsty: that´s just whta I thought. It all looks pretty much like a fake or at least like “forced to look like special”…

  • Henrikas Kudirka

    USA samples could illustrate Soviet’s propaganda book, but great work after all

  • Opinion

    Ofcourse the artist is showing extreme situations and that is his purpose, how can people get offended by this? Very self-centered in that case

  • Marti Patel via Facebook

    Disturbing but not the normal, I’m sure.

  • Tracy Losey via Facebook

    Agreed, the American “examples” are extreme. But still disturbing, regardless.

  • Dennis Gomez


  • Robert Bertrand-Righi via Facebook

    too much impregnated with the phographer’s personality, as it is pretended to be sort of a report. And he agreed that his report would report ACCORDINGLY to what people would secretely EXPECTING… I bet in 3rd world where I’m currently living you may find that sort of “dirty” rooms. Indeed , when poor, should it need to be that such a mess ? The room with “chicken net” as walls in the West Bank, proves it can be NEAT…Not speaking about the lovely Japanese as the tatamis on the floor, only that already are very expensive. Eventually it’s in Kyoto: you get out, the whole city is that a clean image…:-)

  • Mauricio Kurpjuweit via Facebook


  • Typical.

    Oh America. Do you not have equal emotions towards chairman mao or hezbollah? Thought not. Don’t worry, the world knows you for what you are without images like these, haha.

  • Tom J.

    I’ve been to 42 countries and worked in 6. You can find extremes of wealthy bedrooms and poor in each of the countries the photographer visited. That would have been a more interesting contrast with a more concrete frame of reference: “compare and contrast the bedrooms of wealthy, middle class, and poor children in ________.” Or, as Jonas said, compare and contrast the bedrooms of poor children around the world. There are children sleeping on mats in downtown Oakland. Where’s those pics? This is a scattershot approach that can be described as abstract art at best.

  • hai mai

    help these childrens need help

  • Zahra Golzadeh


    very cool

    with them i remember a song of mj and that is heal the world

    good post

  • Erbi Ago

    well…even though the western ones are obviously spoiled extremes…it still serves to show that in the west there are such spoiled extremes…while there are obviously poor children in the west too…their problems cannot even be compared to the bone-drying poverty shown in these pictures… so yes…the western photos are bias…but it is much easier to find such spoiled kids in the US, UK etc than it is in Africa…the west is unfortunately culturally degenerating…..and flash news…Scotland is in the UK

  • foo may lyn

    Good old passé Exoticism. (sigh) The Myths keep getting compounded. Unfortunately coffee table books still sell well; even in this millennium. Troubling, worrying, bothered that people will continue to love images like these..might as well throw in a kitten and/ or a puppy and a benevolent looking policeman helping a granny cross the high streets of Hanoi..those sell well too. But what is more frightening is what the photographer wishes for ‘us’ observers of his work, ” to reflect on the inequality that exists, and realise just how lucky most of us in the developed world are,” – says James.”

  • Anna

    Photos say more than ! 1000 words. Thanks, brilliant idea. Now I have to let the message, the eyes, the images sink in…

  • chris D

    Can’t help but think how much better they would have been if they were real documentary style photographs and not overdone hdr’s

  • Ikou Kaisho

    What surprises me is the untidiness. Beign economically challenged does not mean you are inexorably order-challenged. Rich or poor can have clothes left around all over the place

  • Jan Čech

    Yankyes you pilheres all world and destroyed it. Fucky.

  • biruk

    If the photographer could see my little sister`s room in Africa, he/she would be surprised !! I just don`t appreciate the image he/she took on the Asians and Africans, which has a different meaning and poor thinking. Sorry but that is how i see it.

  • Winston Liauw via Facebook

    Sure the US kid is not representative – nonetheless feel sorry for him

  • Paulo André – Brazil

    strange n wonderful world we live. beautiful people n sometimes cruel reality.

  • Imitty

    It’s always sad to see children all over the world, who are suffering! No matter where in the world! But this a bad propaganda against American und Jewish children! To use children for this, it’s just cheap!

  • tallartist

    We have two choices here. We can criticize the artist for their choice of subject or we can acknowledge the subject they have chosen and allow our hearts and minds to be transformed through the experience. Art is allowed to have bias…it is an intimate look into the heart, mind, and soul of the artist. Art should never be a bland opinionless report…that is what journalism is for. Art is something far greater…it challenges our soul, our mind, our heart to help us transcend our own limited view of the world and see it through the eyes of the artist.

  • Ximena Aldana Garcia

    the gringos kids shocked me. What are they going to be in their future? The other kids maybe are in poor situation, however, I see mental health despite the circumstances

  • Queen Bee

    I feel so lucky, and for those lazy suckers out there think about some of these kids.

Author:   Date posted: Apr 10th, 2013
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