Friday, February 7, 2014

Bedtime Stories

This is Indira, age 7, from Kathmandu, Nepal.

Continuing our search for a little legitimate perspective, lets look at sleeping arrangements from around the world.

From a stunning collection by English photographer James Mollison here are children around the world ... and their beds.  His book is titled Where Children Sleep, and it unveils some differences indeed; from girls in thousand dollar dresses in their private mansions to shepherd boys sleeping with goats.
And this is where little Indira sleeps.

“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 the author. 
And this is Joey's bedroom.
Joey, age 11, lives in Kentucky.

What's the likelihood we're aware of how fortunate we are in the developed world? 

What is the chance our children understand?

We can see it, but our awareness seems to evaporate immediately.  Can it be part of the way we think and live our own lives?

Children in the developed world often have a private room complete with closet and bed and storage for stuff.

Not so in about 80% of the world.

And this is where he sleeps.

This young fellow is 9 and lives in The Ivory Coast
Most live like this fellow, and the bed is shared with others in the family.

If we knew this child personally along with his family; if they were friends of ours, how might that affect our children?  Would they make different choices?

This is Jasmine (Jazzy), age 4, who lives in Kentucky, USA, and her bedroom.
This fellow is Lamine, age 12.  He lives in Bounkiling village,
in southern Senegal, not far from the Soungrougrou River.
And this young lady is Ahkohxet.  She's 8 years old and lives in
Brazil, probably in the state of Amazonas which occupies the
greater part of the tropical forest zone of the Amazon River basin.  
Risa lives in Tokyo, Japan.                          Nantio lives in Lisamis, Northern Kenya.
Both girls are 15 years old.

Reality check:  Just so you know the samplings offered above by photographer James Mollison are not just selective artistic representations, here are some amateur photos from our travels.  In Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya, there are few who live like folks in the developed world.  Seven years, 20+ long trips, 10,000+ photographs, and for everyone there, the normal struggles are for clean water, food, shelter, and perhaps electricity.

Click on the photos for more detail, if you like.
Or come see for yourself.