Where children sleep by James Mollison

Where children sleep is a powerful photo series made by James Mollison, a great photographer born in Kenya and grew up in England. Mollison traveled around the world making visual stories of diverse children, capturing the differences between the lifestyle of kids from different countries, told through portraits and pictures of their bedrooms.

As much as the project is about the quirckiness of childhood, it is, more strikingly, a commentary on class and on poverty. But the diversity also provides a sense of togetherness.” —The New York Times


Where Children Sleep book presents photographs of kids’ bedrooms around the world, from the US, China, India, Kenya, Brazil, Lesotho…  that were photographed over two years with the support of Save the Children (Italy).

Each photography  is accompanied by an extended caption that tells the story of each child: ‘Bilal the Bedouin shepherd boy, who sleeps outdoors with his father’s herd of goats‘ or ‘Kaya from Tokyo, whose mother spends more than $1.000 a month on her dresses’.


The project, in all its diversity, is frankly observant and often surprising. Mollison’s subjects convey the simple truth that all children, whether from a first- or third-world economy, need to be nurtured and protected. His call to action is that we might walk away changed, viewing every child we meet as an individual in need of love and care. As the very concept of sleep and personal space conveys, Where Children Sleep is, above all else, a portrait of vulnerability.

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.


I want to share this book with my little girls and invite them to learn from the diverse stories of children in many different countries and circumstances.  I want to talk them about childhood, about insecurity, hope, pain, comfort… about economic inequality, children’s rights and how we are defined by our possessions and formed by our circumstances.

We’ve ordered one copy yesterday. If you are interested in the book you can buy it through Amazon here. For more photographs of the project, visit James Mollison web.