Mumbai : The world today has become more sensitive towards father’s role in raising children. Earlier maternity leaves were only granted so that mothers could stay at home with the child. These days’ fathers are asking for paternity leaves as well. To support gender equality, the Consulate General of Sweden, in collaboration with Kala Ghoda Arts Festival Association, Safe City and Red Dot Foundation, are announcing Swedish Dads – Indian Dads –
The exhibition “Swedish Dads – Indian Dads” was derived from the lack of role models that men can relate to as parents. The show will portray 35 pictures of real Swedish and Indian dads. The Swedish ones remained at home for atleast 6 months on paternity leaves with their children, which is longer than most fathers in the world. What it meant to them, how it has affected their relationships both with their partners and with their children, and what expectations they have. Sweden has one of the world’s most generous parental insurance schemes, enabling parents to stay home with their children for up to 480 days, paid for by the state. Ninety of these days are reserved for each parent exclusively. Despite this, only a fraction of the country’s fathers choose to claim all statutory days of parental leave, and only 14 per cent choose to share them equally.
“By showing the everyday lives of fathers on parental leave, through pictures and interviews, I’ve focused on men who’ve chosen to put bonding with their children and families before their jobs and careers,” says Johan Bävman. “I’ve also sought to show the universally valid, loving aspect of parenthood, regardless of whether you’re a mother or father. With the aid of this project, I hope to inspire more men to begin reflecting on their roles as fathers and partners, which is an important step towards a more gender-balanced society. It’s good to see these stories going out into the world, where the Swedish perspective on gender equality is by no means self-evident.”
Ms. Ulrika Sundberg, Counsel General of Sweden in Mumbai further shared, “This exhibition will show a more gender aware side of men who are in a role reversal in raising the children which was traditionally seen as an exclusive woman’s responsibility. Photographers Johan Bävmanand Avinash Gowariker have taken real fathers as models which gives a different perception of men and their bond to their children in general.”
The Swedish Dads photo project has had a tremendous impact and has spread across the globe. It has been issued in book form by Bävman himself, with English texts. Johan Bävman has won many awards for his pictures, including a World Press Photo prize, POY, a Sony Award, NPPA, a UNICEF Photo Award and some leading Swedish prizes.
Avinash Gowariker enjoys creating the drama inherent in shooting portraiture. By nature, outgoing and always true to himself, Avinash savors his relationships with people always trying to understand what makes them tick, what makes them comfortable and reflects their true nature.