#15 As Told In Photos

This photography by James Mollison is featured in his thought provoking book, Where Children Sleep. Each picture comes with a caption that tells the story of the child.

“I hope this book will make children think about inequality…” says Mollison, “and perhaps start to figure out how, in their own lives, they may respond.”

#14 A Tribal Home

8-year-old Ahkohxet belongs to the Kraho tribe and lives in Brazil’s Amazon Basin. Her living quarters appear very well constructed and practical, almost like a university dorm room. Colourful clothing hangs above her bed, giving the appearance of a walk in closet. If these walls could talk, we doubt we’d understand them.

#13 A Garbage Dump

Roathy and his family live in a garbage dump in Cambodia. The collect recyclables for money and fight off hundreds of flies where they sleep at night. Creature comforts would be clean sheets and a hot meal. Not an ideal place to grow up would be an understatement.

#12 A Room Fit for a Princess

Jasmine lives in a large house with her family and likes to participate in beauty pageants that cost upwards of a thousand dollars each month. Her bed looks like a princess’s carriage and and her room is filled with crowns and sashes from her extra curricular activities. Some day she wants to be a rock star.

#11 Looks Can Be Deceiving

Seven year old Indira’s Nepalese hideaway seems almost charming if you ignore its obvious roughness. We’d like to think she spends her time leisurely playing about her room and reading stories wrapped in soft warm cloth. Unfortunately a lot of children in Nepal are very poor and have to work hard to contribute to the family at a young age. One has to wonder if they even have what we would call, a childhood?

#10 With His Goats

Six year old Bilal sleeps with the goats where he’s from in The West Bank. A couple of carpets cushion the dirt ground. He no doubt tends to his herd day and night. Some children begin to work hard from very early ages. Instead of a cushy pillow and bedtime story, these kids learn that survival is work, and those who fall behind will not make it through. It’s a hard lesson for a fragile child. We’ll take a fairy-tale version any day.

#9 A Perfect Place

Li, 10, from Beijing, China has an immaculate room to herself. While most kid’s bedrooms are messy odes to play and fun, this has a museum like serenity and style. The hand shaped chair is very cool, and we can imagine her passing time in it with her studies. Is this a prime example of Chinese rigidity or just a very organized little girl?

#8 Well Equipped Space

Lewis from Barnsley, England has a simple but well equipped space. His TV, movies and bed make for a cozy watching nook, where he, like so many children can get lost in another world- a world where problems are solved in less than two hours, and everyone looks perfect, even at 6 am. One could say his surroundings are merely there to sustain a hobby; a place to escape to when the world outside gets to be a bit much.

#7 A Sofa-bed Like None Other

Alex’s bed is a torn and filthy sofa outdoors in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is 9 years old. He looks like any familiar little boy who should have a room full of planes, trains and automobiles. It’s surreal to think that some children live like this. Will his circumstances change? Only time will tell.

#6 Simple Beauty in Dark Places

Nantio, from Lisamis, Northern Kenya sleeps in what appears to be a rustic hut on animal skins. No double soft mattress here. Sun filters through a make shift skylight. The bare necessities take on new meaning with a glance at this space. One can almost imagine the heat, the sounds and smells. Chances are he sleeps here with his entire family. Your studio apartment suddenly looks pretty good.

#5 Punk Rocker Diaries

Rhiannon, 14, of Darvel, Scotland would have really fit in 1980’s Britain. Her punk stylings extend from her mohawk to the police tape x’ed on her wall. But do the cracks in the plaster echo the chip that’s most likely found on this young girl’s shoulder? Her dramatic look may be hiding more than just a pretty face.

#4 Beauty in Brazil

Thais, age 11 has a room that looks like any young girl’s, with pictures of her crush plastered on the walls. She lives in City of God, Brazil and could very well be the next Gisele Bundchen. The little doll on her bed is reminder of her youth and the hope that it won’t be taken away too soon.

#3 Douha, 10, Hebron, The West Bank

A bedroom is usually a space of quiet and reflection. Here we see a large photo of Douha’s brother with guns watching over her resting place, a constant reminder of the complexity of religion and war. To live here is to be surrounded by ideology. Children like this young girl must learn to grow up quickly.

#2 The Girl With Everything

Kaya, from Japan seems to have everything a little girl could dream of. Her bedroom is filled with beautiful clothing, toys and other trinkets. It all looks a little too perfect, and we wonder if all the nicety hides a rigid upbringing. Nice things are great but do not always equate to a happy life. Let’s hope it does for little Kaya.

#1 Alyssa, Harlan County USA

The bedroom of Alyssa in Harlan County, USA looks a bit like a tool shed at first. With the ceiling caved in, and wall boards exposed, her family is no doubt struggling, as are so many Americans today. A angelic doll sits atop her dresser, perhaps a beacon of hope in desperate times.