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James Mollison: Where Children Sleep
Where Children Sleep presents English-born photographer James Mollison's (born 1973) large-format photographs of children's bedrooms around the world--from the US, Mexico, Brazil, England, Italy, Israel and the West Bank, Kenya, Senegal, Lesotho, Nepal, China and India--alongside portraits of the children themselves. Each pair of photographs is accompanied by an extended caption that tells the story of each child: 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; the Nepali girl Indira, who has worked in a granite quarry since she was three; and Ankhohxet, the Kraho boy who sleeps on the floor of a hut deep in the Amazon jungle. Photographed over two years with the support of Save the Children (Italy), Where Children Sleep is both a serious photo-essay for an adult audience, and also an educational book that engages children themselves in the lives of other children around the world. Its cover features a child's mobile printed in glow-in-the-dark ink.
"Kaya is four years old. She lives with her parents in a small apartment in Tokyo, Japan. Most apartments in Japan are small because land is very expensive to buy and there is such a large population to accommodate. Kaya's bedroom is every little girl's dream. It is lined from floor to ceiling with clothes and dolls. Kaya's mother makes all Kaya's dresses--up to three a month, usually. Now Kaya has thirty dresses and coats, thirty pairs of shoes, sandals and boots, and numerous wigs. (The pigtails in the featured image, reproduced from James Mollison: Where Children Sleep, are made from hairpieces.) Her friends love to come round to try on her clothes. When she goes to school, however, she has to wear a school uniform. Her favorite foods are meat, potatoes, strawberries and peaches. She wants to be a cartoonist when she grows up, drawing Japanese 'anime' cartoons."
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
"a remarkable series capturing the diversity of and, often, disparity between children’s lives around the world through portraits of their bedrooms"
STATUS: Out of stock indefinitely.
FROM THE BOOK
"When asked 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.
"In the end, I hope the pictures and the stories in this book speak to children. Yes, so that lucky children (like I was) may better appreciate what they have. But more than that, I hope this book will help children think about inequality, within and between societies around the world, and perhaps start to figure out how, in their own lives, they may respond."
James Mollison, excerpted from his introduction to Where Children Sleep.
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
KOLLEEN KU | DATE 7/21/2015
Last week, we rereleased Where Children Sleep, James Mollison's fascinating exploration of children's bedrooms, upbringings and livelihoods from around the world. An instant hit when first published in 2010, Where Children Sleep has been featured in the New York Times, the Telegraph, NPR and many others news sources, and has quickly sold out of multiple print runs. Now in its fifth printing, this volume is a must-have both for adult readers interested in photojournalism, and as an educational book for children to engage with other cultures from across the globe.
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