"Where Children Sleep" Is A Moving And Powerful Photo Series About What Kids Have And Lack

Where Children Sleep is a telling series that explores the various sleeping environments of children from all over the world. Created by photographer James Mollison, the series shows a portrait of each child alongside the space or room they sleep in.

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When photographer James Mollison was asked to do a project on children’s rights, he found himself thinking back to his childhood bedroom and the deep importance it played in his upbringing

Taking that idea with him around the world, he photographed a diverse cross section of children and the bedrooms they call home. His moving images remove the children from their home environment, showing them before a neutral background that mostly hides their economic status as if to say “kids are just kids.”

Nantio is a member of the Rendille tribe. She has two brothers and two sisters. Her home in Lisamis, northern Kenya, is a tent-like dome made from cattle hide and plastic, with little room to stand.

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Only when their bedroom is observed, however, does the full scope of their living situation become poiniently clear.

The series presents a portrait of each child or adolescent accompanied by a shot of their bedrooms. While some have a bounty of possessions and a lavish bed to rest their head on at night, the images reveal that some are not as fortunate.

Li lives in an apartment block with her parents in China. She is a perfectionist and will spend up to three hours each night completing her homework to the highest standard.

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11-year-old Thais lives with her parents and sister on the third floor of a block of flats in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

She shares a bedroom with her sister. They live in the Cidade de Deus (‘City of God’) neighbourhood, which used to be notorious for its gang rivalry and drug use. Since the 2002 film City of God, it has undergone major improvements. Thais is a fan of Felipe Dylon, a pop singer, and has posters of him on her wall. She would like to be a model.

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15-year-old Risa is training to be a geisha and shares a teahouse with 13 women in Kyoto, Japan

Risa lives with 13 other women in a teahouse. She and five others sleep in a room that is also used as a dining room and tea room. Risa is a 'maiko' – a young girl who has passed the test to train as a geisha.

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14-year-old Prena is a domestic worker in Nepal and lives in a cell-like room in the attic of the house where she works in Katmandu

Prena’s room is a tiny, cell-like space at the top of the house where she is employed as a domestic worker. She goes to school three times a week – which is the main highlight in her life.

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11-year-old Joey, who killed his first deer when he was seven, lives in Kentucky with his family

Joey regularly accompanies his father on hunts. He owns two shotguns and a crossbow and made his first kill – a deer – at the age of seven. He is hoping to use his crossbow during the next hunting season as he has become tired of using a gun. He loves the outdoor life and hopes to continue hunting into adulthood. His family always cook and eat the meat from the animal they have shot. Joey does not agree that an animal should be killed just for sport. When he is not out hunting, Joey attends school and enjoys watching television with his pet bearded dragon lizard, Lily.

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12-year-old Lamine sleeps in a room shared with several other boys in the Koranic school in their Senegalese village

Lamine is a pupil at the Bounkiling village Koranic school, where no girls are allowed. At 6 every morning, the boys begin work on the school farm.

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8-year-old Roathy lives on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia

His home sits on a huge rubbish dump. Roathy’s mattress is made from old tyres. Five thousand people live and work here. At six every morning, Roathy and hundreds of other children are given a shower at a local charity centre before they start work, scavenging for cans and plastic bottles, which are sold to a recycling company. Breakfast is often the only meal of the day.

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10-year-old Ryuta is a champion sumo-wrestler living in Tokyo with his family

Ryuta is a champion sumo wrestler. His friends admire him because he never loses a wrestling match. Ryuta also belongs to the scout movement.

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9-year-old Alex lives on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Alex does not go to school but spends his time begging on the city streets. Most of the time he sleeps outside, on an empty bench or discarded sofa if he can find one – otherwise on the pavement.

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9-year-old Jamie shares a top-floor apartment on New York's Fifth Avenue with his parents and three siblings. The family's two other homes are in Spain and the Hamptons.

Jaime lives in a top-floor apartment on Fifth Avenue. His parents also own luxury homes in Spain and in the Hamptons on Long Island.

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9-year-old Tsvika and his siblings share a bedroom in an apartment in the West Bank, in a gated Orthodox Jewish community known as Beitar Illit

Tzvika lives in Beitar Illit, a gated community of 36,000 Orthodox Jews. The average family there has nine children, but Tzvika has just one sister and two brothers, with whom he shares his room.

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9-year-old Delanie aspires to be a fashion designer and lives with her parents and younger siblings in a large house in New Jersey

Delanie lives with her parents and younger brother and sister in a large house. The children all have their own bedrooms.

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9-year-old Dong shares a room with his parents, sister and grandfather, growing rice and sugar cane in China's Yunnan Province

Dong shares a room with his sister and parents. They are a poor family who own just enough land to grow their own rice and sugar cane.

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9-year-old anonymous boy living in Ivory Coast

This 9-year-old boy is a refugee from war in Liberia. He goes to a school for ex-child soldiers in Ivory Coast. An orphan, he lives in a concrete shack alongside other pupils from his school.

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8-year-old Ahkohxet belongs to the Kraho tribe and lives in Brazil's Amazon basin

Ahkohxet is a member of the Kraho tribe, who live in the basin of the Amazon River. There are only 1,900 members of the tribe.

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Alyssa lives in a small wooden house with her family in Appalachia

Alyssa lives with her parents in Kentucky. Their small, shabby house, heated only by a wooden stove, is falling apart.

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4-year-old Romanian boy who shares a mattress with his family in the outskirts of Rome

Home for this boy and his family is a mattress in a field on the outskirts of Rome, Italy. The family came from Romania by bus, after begging for money to pay for their tickets. When they arrived in Rome, they camped on private land, but the police threw them off. They have no identity papers, so cannot obtain legal work. The boy’s parents clean car windscreens at traffic lights. No one from his family has ever been to school.

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4-year-old Jasmine has participated in over 100 child beauty pageants and lives in a large house in the Kentucky countryside

Jasmine (‘Jazzy’), four, lives in a big house in Kentucky, USA, with her parents and three brothers. Her house is in the countryside, surrounded by farmland. Her bedroom is full of crowns and sashes that she has won in beauty pageants. She has entered more than 100 competitions. Her spare time is taken up with rehearsal. She practises her stage routines every day with a trainer. Jazzy would like to be a rock star when she grows up.

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7-year-old Indira works at a granite quarry and lives in a one-room house near Katmandu, Nepal, with her parents, brother and sister

Indira's house has only one room. At bedtime, she and her brother and sister share a mattress on the floor. Indira has worked at the local granite quarry since she was 3.

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