(Embassy of Sweden) The photo exhibition Swedish Dads explores how Swedish fathers view the modern male role in contrast to the traditional, stereotype parental role. The exhibition in Khartoum will also include photos of Sudanese fathers who have chosen to take a greater part in the upbringing of their children than customary.
The exhibition is now showing at Elguneid Cultural Center in al-Tayef, on April 7-19.
When Swedish photographer Johan Bävman became a father, he found there was a lack of role models that men could relate to as parents. This led to the Swedish Dads photo exhibition, based on portraits of some of the few fathers who have chosen to stay at home with their children for at least six months.
The exhibition looks at what caused these particular dads to remain at home with their children so much longer than most fathers in the world. What has it meant to them, how has it affected their relationships both with their partners and with their children, and what expectations did they have beforehand?
Sweden has one of the world’s most generous parental insurance schemes, enabling parents to stay home with their children for 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 father’s choose to claim all their 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.
The Swedish Dads photo project has had a tremendous impact and has spread across the globe, and Johan Bävman has won many awards for his pictures.
The Swedish Dads photo project has had a tremendous impact and has been published around the world. The exhibition in Sudan will be the 15th country where Swedish Dads is on display. In Khartoum, the exhibition has been expanded to also include Sudanese dads, with pictures taken by Sudanese photographer Eyas Elhashmi: “I believe this exhibition contributes to highlight the benefits of fathers’ participation in childrearing, and I hope it will provide another step towards building a more integrated and happy family as well as society.”
The Swedish Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Hans Henric Lundquist hopes this initiative will initiate a discussion on the benefits of a greater participation of fathers in childrearing: “With the exhibition ‘Swedish and Sudanese Dads’, the ambition is to highlight the benefits of fathers’ participation in bringing up their children. The public will also have the opportunity to discuss the exhibition with the Swedish Ambassador on April 7 starting from 3pm and on April 12 also from 3pm.
The exhibition portrays 25 fathers in Sweden and six Sudanese fathers and is showing at Elguneid Cultural Center in al-Tayef, Khartoum, on April 7-19 as a joint undertaking between the Swedish Institute, Swedish Embassy in Khartoum and UNFPA.
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