Our bedrooms are our sanctuaries. It is not just the place we lie down on our beds to sleep or where we have our clothes and jewellery. Books, family and friend photos, special mementos all get their own special place in the often four-wall room. It is the place we listen to our favourite songs when we feel joy, sadness, love, and heartbreak.
Everything from the colour of the walls to the texture of a favourite blanket, folks put a lot of thought and care into their bedroom regardless of how small or large the space may be. The bedroom disconnects all of us from the noise and movement of the outside world. It is the place to meditate, to make important as well as trivial decisions.
John Thackwray knows the importance one’s bedroom all too well. The photographer has visited over 1,200 bedrooms all over the world to capture their essence in his new book appropriately titled My Room Project.
Thackwray has assigned a number to each bedroom. This is room 665 and it belongs to 18-year-old Marcello in La Paz, Bolivia.
The photographer began his project in 2010. His criteria was shooting men and women born in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
The shutterbug wanted to know about their lifestyles, love, education, religion, and local issues.
He started by photographing friends’ bedrooms in Paris. The project took off from there.
He has visited 55 countries around the globe like Ryoko in room 256 in Tokyo, Japan.
People from all walks of life and economic backgrounds share a glimpse of their world.
The South African born photographer has gone to refugee camps, jails, temples and reservations to photograph his subjects.
Room 458 belongs to an 18-year-old high school student named Zhalay in Jambyl Region, Kazakhstan.
Thackwray says every photo is a different story.
“I was impressed by spiritually in India, the hospitality in Russia and the craziness of the Japanese lifestyle,” says Thackwray.
The definition of a “bedroom” is relative to where you live. In some parts of the world, a room is shared among other family members.
The rooms often have more than one function.
The room numbers are in chronological order of Thackwray’s world travel.
The book My Room Project is expected to be released before Christmas.
In the book, each of his subjects share testimonies of their way of life.
“At that time it was just a hobby, a different way of traveling,” says Thackwray about how the idea evolved.
“It was also a way to meet people, and it was just basically to see how people of my age live in all those countries,” explains Thackwray.
Thackwray travelled to places like Romania, South Africa, Nepal, Egypt, Russia, and Iran.