Tag Archives: England

James Mollison – Where Children Sleep

28 May

From Amazon:

Where Children Sleep presents English-born photographer James Mollison’s large-format photographs of children’s bedrooms around the world–from the U.S.A., 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. 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.

Here are a few examples from the book. (Similar concept: Hungry Planet: What the World Eats)


Lamine (above), 12, lives in Senegal. He is a pupil at the village Koranic school, where no girls are allowed. He shares a room with several other boys. The beds are basic, some supported by bricks for legs. At six every morning the boys begin work on the school farm, where they learn how to dig, harvest maize and plough the fields using donkeys. In the afternoon they study the Koran. In his free time Lamine likes to play football with his friends.


Tzvika, nine, lives in an apartment block in Beitar Illit, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. It is a gated community of 36,000 Haredi (Orthodox) Jews. Televisions and newspapers are banned from the settlement. The average family has nine children, but Tzvika has only one sister and two brothers, with whom he shares his room. He is taken by car to school, a two-minute drive. Sport is banned from the curriculum. Tzvika goes to the library every day and enjoys reading the holy scriptures. He also likes to play religious games on his computer. He wants to become a rabbi, and his favourite food is schnitzel and chips.


Jamie, 9, lives with his parents and younger twins brother and sister in a penthouse on 5 th Avenue, New York. Jamie goes to a prestigious school and is a good student. In his spare time he takes judo and goes for a swim. He loves to study finance. When he grows up, he wants to become a lawyer like his father.


Indira, seven, lives with her parents, brother and sister near Kathmandu in Nepal. Her house has only one room, with one bed and one mattress. At bedtime, the children share the mattress on the floor. Indira has worked at the local granite quarry since she was three. The family is very poor so everyone has to work. There are 150 other children working at the quarry. Indira works six hours a day and then helps her mother with household chores. She also attends school, 30 minutes’ walk away. Her favourite food is noodles. She would like to be a dancer when she grows up.


Kaya, four, lives with her parents in a small apartment in Tokyo, Japan. Her bedroom is lined from floor to ceiling with clothes and dolls. Kaya’s mother makes all her dresses – Kaya has 30 dresses and coats, 30 pairs of shoes and numerous wigs. When she goes to school, she has to wear a school uniform. Her favourite foods are meat, potatoes, strawberries and peaches. She wants to be a cartoonist when she grows up.


Douha, 10, lives with her parents and 11 siblings in a Palestinian refugee camp in Hebron, in the West Bank. She shares a room with her five sisters. Douha attends a school 10 minutes’ walk away and wants to be a paediatrician. Her brother, Mohammed, killed himself and 23 civilians in a suicide attack against the Israelis in 1996. Afterwards the Israeli military destroyed the family home. Douha has a poster of Mohammed on her wall.


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.


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.


Dong, nine, lives in Yunnan province in south-west China with his parents, sister and grandfather. He shares a room with his sister and parents. The family own just enough land to grow their own rice and sugarcane. Dong’s school is 20 minutes’ walk away. He enjoys writing and singing. Most evenings, he spends one hour doing his homework and one hour watching television. When he is older, Dong would like to be a policeman.


Roathy, eight, 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.


Thais, 11, 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.


Nantio, 15, is a member of the Rendille tribe in northern Kenya. She has two brothers and two sisters. Her home is a tent-like dome made from cattle hide and plastic, with little room to stand. There is a fire in the middle, around which the family sleep. Nantio’s chores include looking after the goats, chopping firewood and fetching water. She went to the village school for a few years but decided not to continue. Nantio is hoping a moran (warrior) will select her for marriage. She has a boyfriend now, but it is not unusual for a Rendille woman to have several boyfriends before marriage. First, she will have to undergo circumcision, as is the custom.


Joey, 11, lives in Kentucky, USA, with his parents and older sister. He 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.

Source here.  To see more Photos visit www.jamesmollison.com


The wedding is a royal pain

29 Apr

A Fairytale Wedding? What Nonsense!

The wedding of William and Kate on Friday will be a joke, a hopelessly overhyped celebration of an absurdly undemocratic system, writes SPIEGEL London correspondent Marco Evers. He pities the bride for her imminent loss of freedom, and wonders why this eccentric nation continues to worship the Windsors.

The whole thing feels like an aberration of history.

It’s wrong if the head of state of a country can only come from one family. It’s wrong to furnish this clan with palaces, land and all manner of grants to spare its members the indignity of having to earn their keep and enable them to live in luxury. It is wrong to address the Windsors and, from next Friday the delightful Kate Middleton as well, as Your Royal Highness or even Your Majesty. It is wrong to see them as anything other than people made of flesh and blood, like you and I.

Millions of Britons know that. The Guardian newspaper wants to abolish the monarchy, as does the Independent and the Economist magazine. Many professors, film directors, writers, actors and politicians would like Britain to become a republic — but they remain in the minority which for years has been constant at around 18 percent of the population.

Cherie Blair, the difficult wife of the former Prime Minister Tony, once refused to curtsey in front of the old Mrs. Elizabeth Windsor, but the majority of Britons enjoy doing that, and much more, for Queen and Country. The Windsors are Europe’s most expensive royal family, but the people go on paying, without grumbling, at least as long as Queen Elizabeth remains alive. (…)

British soldiers are fighting for democracy in Afghanistan and Libya, and they fought for it in Iraq. But at home, they defend the absurdly undemocratic idea that nobody but a Windsor can be head of state. (…)

The pomp and ceremony surrounding the marriage of William and Kate is the latest expression of British eccentricity — but a large part of the world appears to be succumbing to it as well.

Yes, the carriages of gold and velvet look pretty, the bride’s train will be a sight to behold and Westminster Abbey is quite a spectacular backdrop for the ceremony. But is it really worth all the fuss? More than 10,000 journalists are descending on London. The German networks ARD, ZDF, Sat.1, RTL, n-tv and N24 will hardly be broadcasting anything else on Friday. Everyone is pretending that this spectacle is the most important and beautiful event on earth — but it is not. (…)

The whole thing feels even worse than just an aberration of history. It’s a joke.


Märchenhochzeit? Alles Quatsch!

Ist die Vermählung von William und Kate das schönste und wichtigste Großereignis auf Erden? Von wegen, meint der Londoner SPIEGEL-Korrespondent Marco Evers: Er empfindet die Trauung als völlig überschätztes Tamtam und das Königshaus Windsor als abstrus undemokratisch. Eine persönliche Abrechnung.

Das Ganze fühlt sich an wie ein Irrtum der Geschichte.

Es ist falsch, wenn nur eine Familie das Oberhaupt eines Staats stellen darf. Es ist falsch, diese Sippe mit Schlössern, Ländereien und Apanagen auszustatten, damit jeder der Ihren vor Arbeit bewahrt bleibe und im Luxus lebe. Es ist falsch, den Windsors und von Freitag an auch der reizenden Kate Middleton zu huldigen als “Eure Königliche Hoheit” oder gar als “Eure Majestät”. Falsch, sie als etwas anderes zu sehen denn als Menschen aus Fleisch und Blut, wie du und ich.

Das wissen auch Millionen Briten. Der “Guardian” will die Kronenträger abschaffen, ebenso der “Economist” und der “Independent”. Viele Professoren, Regisseure, Schriftsteller, Schauspieler und Politiker wünschen sich eine Republik – aber sie bleiben in Großbritannien eine Minderheit mit einem seit Jahren konstanten Anteil von etwa 18 Prozent.

Cherie Blair, die schwierige Frau des damaligen Premiers Tony, hat sich einst geweigert, im Angesicht der alten Mrs. Elizabeth Windsor den unterwürfigen Hofknicks aufzuführen, doch die große Mehrheit der Briten tut das gern, das und noch viel mehr, for Queen and Country. Die Windsors sind das teuerste Königshaus Europas, sie liegen dem Volk schwer auf der Tasche – doch das Volk zahlt, ohne zu murren, solange zumindest Elizabeth lebt. (…)

In Afghanistan kämpfen Briten gerade für Demokratie. In Libyen auch, ebenso zuvor im Irak. Nur daheim verteidigen sie die abstrus undemokratische Idee, dass allein ein Windsor Staatsoberhaupt werden kann. (…)

Das Tamtam um die Hochzeit von William und Kate ist nur die Zuspitzung der britischen Seltsamkeit – der jetzt aber auch noch ein großer Teil der Welt zu erliegen scheint.

Ja, die Kutschen in Gold und Samt sehen schön aus, die Schleppe der Braut wird beachtlich sein, und Westminster Abbey ist eine hübsche Traukirche. Aber ist der ganze Rummel angemessen? Mehr als 10.000 Journalisten fallen in London ein. ARD, ZDF, Sat.1, RTL, n-tv und N24 werden am Freitag kaum noch etwas anderes senden. Auch SPIEGEL ONLINE berichtet mit Liveticker und Livestream über die Hochzeit. Alle tun so, als sei dieses Spektakel das Wichtigste und Schönste auf Erden. (…)

Das Ganze fühlt sich nicht nur an wie ein Irrtum der Geschichte. Es ist ein Witz.


Schock – Kate und Williams Hochzeit bedeutungslos

Experten warnen: Die royale Hochzeit von Kate Middleton und Prinz William könnte einige Enttäuschungen bereit halten.

(…) Böse Vorahnungen

Ausgerechnet jetzt aber, wo die Aufregung allmählich ihren Siedepunkt erreicht, ist ein dunkler Schatten auf die Veranstaltung gefallen. Wie aus Hofkreisen laut wurde, könnte das große Medienereignis einige Enttäuschungen bereit halten.

Kate und William, so heißt es, werden nun doch nicht den Nahost-Konflikt beenden. Es sei auch nicht vorgesehen, dass das Paar die Mondoberfläche betrete. Während es noch widersprüchliche Informationen über das geplante Stopfen des japanischen Atomlecks gibt, gilt es als relativ sicher, dass die königliche Hochzeit den Hunger in der Welt beenden könnte. Oder zumindest den der geladenen Gäste.

Bei einigen unabhängigen Beobachtern hat sich inzwischen sogar die Meinung durchgesetzt, dass die Hochzeit von Kate und William komplett bedeutungslos für große Teile des Universums sein könnte. Allerdings widersprechen nicht nur Vertreter der Gedenkteller-Industrie energisch.

Führende Wissenschaftler gehen davon aus, dass Kates streng geheim gehaltenes Hochzeitskleid Krebs heilt, Gaddafi zum Abdanken zwingt und Knut wiederauferstehen lässt.


Piped Music:

God save the queen
The fascist regime
They made you a moron
Potential H-bomb

God save the queen
She ain’t no human being
There is no future
In England’s dreaming

Don’t be told what you want
Don’t be told what you need
There’s no future, no future,
No future for you

God save the queen
We mean it man
We love our queen
God saves

God save the queen
‘Cause tourists are money
And our figurehead
Is not what she seems

Oh God save history
God save your mad parade
Oh Lord God have mercy
All crimes are paid

When there’s no future
How can there be sin
We’re the flowers in the dustbin
We’re the poison in your human machine
We’re the future, your future

God save the queen
We mean it man
We love our queen
God saves

God save the queen
We mean it man
And there is no future
In England’s dreaming

No future, no future,
No future for you
No future, no future,
No future for me