A Unique Look Inside The Bedrooms Of Young People Around The World

Photographed by John Thackwray.
Bedrooms are windows into people's personalities. They're the place where you start and end each day. They're a haven of self-expression — especially for young people with rooms of their own.
French photographer and filmmaker John Thackwray sought to capture the joy of people in their bedrooms in his My Room Project. The photo series (and soon-to-be book) offers a rarely seen glimpse into what bedrooms look like around the world.
To create the project, Thackwray interviewed subjects in 55 countries on topics such as human rights and inequality. As you might expect, the answers varied widely according to the subjects' home countries and personal experiences.
Thackwray tells Refinery29 that he draws inspiration from a variety of individuals across different industries, but mentions basketball coach Gregg Popovich, video game designer Hideo Kojima, and retired ice hockey player Viacheslav Fetisov. He also cites Nelson Mandela as an inspiration, because of "his devotion and his integrity."
Thackwray says Jamaica was his favourite country to visit while creating the project, because he loved the country's landscape and beaches. He also noted that Russia, Iran, and Mexico as enjoyable places to visit for their hospitality.
Click through to see a handful of Thackwray's photos of bedrooms around the world. His book, My Room: Portrait of a Generation, is available for purchase now.
Jessica Chou contributed reporting.
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Thackwray worked on the My Room Project for six years before it was complete. He photographed and interviewed young women and men across the globe, focusing on people aged 18 to 30. He chose to feature millennials because it's the generation he's a part of.

Thackwray says the interviews touched on "violence, poverty, religion, women's conditions, and ecology," and the final My Room Project includes more than 1,000 people from 55 countries.
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #256: Ryoko, age 25, IT engineer in Tokyo, Japan

Thackwray wanted his project to include people from all walks of life. He sought out interviews with people of varying socioeconomic status and people from both urban and rural environments.
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #24: Joseph, age 30, artist in Paris, France

"I was curious about lifestyle and culture, about how the world is mutating faster and faster," Thackwray told us.
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #665: Marcello, age 18, high school student in La Paz, Bolivia

"The best photos are the ones with the strongest stories," says Thackwray.
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #192: Andreea, age 24, civil engineer in Bucharest, Romania

Thackwray is curious about people from all backgrounds. "I want to photograph people with dignity and pride; doesn't matter if they're rich, poor, engineers, or farmers," he says.
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #205: Gullé, age 29, actress in Istanbul, Turkey

"I quickly felt that if I don't get these shots, no one's gonna do it," he explained.
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #219: Maleeq, age 28, entertainer in New York, United States

Thackwray shot all of the photos from the same angle to display the details of his subjects' rooms.
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #243: Tosha, age 26, go-go dancer in Los Angeles, United States

"My candidates are free to show or hide what they wants. It's their choice, I'm not interacting with it," Thackwray explains of the rooms' arrangements. "Sometimes, they ask me [for] some minutes to clean their rooms. Sometimes, they don't care."
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #290: Yuan, age 22, seller in Dali, China

Thackwray explains that one thing you can't tell from the photos is that family members, such as parents, spouses, or siblings, are often looking on from behind the lens. "It's pretty common to have more than 10 people behind me," he notes.
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #313: Fha, age 20, farmer in Ban Saingam, Thailand

Thackwray says that most of his work for the project was finding his subjects and getting their permission to be photographed. He explains that while traveling, he would create "a safe network of trustful people" in each new country to help him with the project.
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #348: Asha, age 17, housewife in Bamansemilya, India

Thackwray set out to photograph young people aged 18 to 30, but he met Asha when photographing her 25-year-old sister in the same village. Asha was just shy of 18 at the time, Thackwray tells Refinery29.
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #385: Pema, age 22, Buddhism student in Kathmandu, Nepal

He cites language barriers as one of the biggest obstacles he faced while creating the project. "The difficulty to communicate fluently with the people I photographed was extremely frustrating," Thackwray explains. "And for this reason, there are some questions to which I will never have the reply."
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #416: Oleg, age 24, telecom engineer in Novosibirsk, Russia

One thing many of his subjects did have in common was internet access and, by extension, social media. "This is definitely the connected generation," he says.
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #458: Yeldar, age 18, high school student in Zanbil, Kazakhstan

Thackwray also cites "the perception of the family" as something that varied widely among cultures. He found that some valued the father as the decision-maker, while others focused more on the children and making sacrifices for them.
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #466: Elahe, age 29, painter in Tehran, Iran

"At first, I was more attracted by the beauty of the photos, the composition, the colours," Thackwray explains. "But little by little, I started to be more focused by the stories."
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #711: Claudio, age 24, archivist in Rio, Brazil

"It's easy to imagine the same photos with the parents of my candidates, 20 years ago. It could have been so different," Thackwray says. "The world is changing so fast and I feel it's important to document the lifestyle of my generation. I'm convinced these photos are gonna be really precious in the future."
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #807: Mohamed, age 18, traditional healer student in Saint Catherine, Egypt

"Inequalities and ignorance are the main scourges of humanity, and we all have to struggle against that," says Thackwray. "These are the youth who are designing the world of tomorrow."
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #915: Josee, age 22, student in compatibility, Kigali, Rwanda

Of his book, Thackwray says that "each person has their own story, and they can talk about something that is wider and more universal."
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #867: Ezekiel, age 22, warrior in Echo Manyata, Kenya

"Every [one] of the hundred chosen persons in the book talks about a special topic linked with their lifestyle, such as living into the war, adoptions, traditional values, the rural exodus, or the African unity," Thackwray says. "I'm trying to do a big story in a small one."
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #1049: Osia, age 18, shepherd in Ha Selomo, Lesotho

He added: "I'm focusing on human rights and development issues around the world, with a view to document the inequalities impacting the humankind — poverty, violence, women's condition, lack of education — and working to make the people conscious about it."
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Photographed by John Thackwray.
Room #1093: Sabrina, age 27, kindergarten teacher in Shatila, Lebanon

"I would be happy, through my photos, to make people a little more conscious about the world surrounding us," Thackwray says. And it seems like he's well on his way to accomplishing that.

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