Living Lullabies


Photograph by Hannah Reyes Morales

At this moment, millions of caregivers across the world are putting children to bed. They sing lullabies and read stories that confront and ease children’s fears and weave the narratives of history and tradition through their subconscious.

By the glow of a phone or to the thrum of the city, lullabies still charm babies to sleep. We inherit

them, and we pass them on. We carry them across borders, and make new ones along the way. They contain the traces of those who came before us, and they will carry traces of us long after we’re gone.

Living Lullabies illuminates critical concerns for women and children around the world by drawing on the storytelling from families’ nighttime rituals. It explores how caregivers prepare children for sleep in environments fraught with hazard, and highlights the unique role the lullaby plays in placemaking. The project explores how issues at the top of global agendas—conflict, migration, public health, and climate change—are reflected in stories at bedtime for children around the world.

Featuring: Hannah Reyes Morales
Curated by: Mallory Benedict - Photo Editor, History & Culture
Location: Washington Street

About The Artist

Hannah Reyes Morales is a Filipina photographer and a National Geographic Explorer whose work documents tenderness amid adversity. Her photography, both visceral and intimate, looks at how resilience is embodied in daily life. Based in Manila, Reyes Morales explores the universal themes of diaspora, survival, and the bonds that tie us together.

About The Organization

Established in 1888, National Geographic is a trusted print and digital publication offering stories that illuminate, inspire, and reveal. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultures, the sciences, and the natural world. We advance that mission by creating visually stunning, richly reported photojournalism and distinguished, impartial coverage of the globe’s most pressing issues. National Geographic, the most popular brand on Instagram, has more than 235 million followers.