Thanks to the Embassy of Sweden in Washington D.C. for their support of this exhibition.
Swedish Dads is a photographs series with portraits of 45 dads who belong to the relatively small percentage of Swedish men who choose to stay at home with their children for six months or longer. Through this series, Swedish photographer Johan Bävman examines why these fathers have chosen to stay at home with their children and how the relationship with their children and their partners has changed as a result.
Fifteen of these portraits will hang outside the American Swedish Institute for the public along the historic fence on Park Avenue from June 20 to October 4, 2020. The portraits will also be available to explore here on ASI’s website.
While ASI remains closed, we wanted to find a way to share these portraits with you. During these times, with daycare and school closures, many parents have found themselves at home with their children – some for the very first time. Swedish Dads aims to inspire and create role models for other dads, as well as contribute to ongoing discussion around gender equality and parenting.
The U.S. début and tour of Swedish Dads is supported by Embassy of Sweden.
About Sweden’s Parental Leave
In 1974, Sweden was the first country in the world to replace maternity leave with parental leave. Sweden has one of the most generous parental leave policies in the world, allowing parents to stay at home with their child for a total of 480 days, while receiving 80% of their salary from the state. Despite a generous allowance, Sweden’s dads still only use 29% of the total amount of parental leave days. Only 14% of parents split the days evenly.
About the Artist
Johan Bävman (b. 1982) is a freelance photographer based in Malmö, Sweden. Swedish Dads has garnered widespread international attention and has been exhibited in 65 countries. Johan has received many awards for his images, including World Press Photo, POY, UNICEF Photography Award, Swedish news agency TT’s Grand Prize, and Picture of the Year in Sweden.
With this project, I want to find out why these men have chosen to stay at home so much longer than the majority of Swedish dads. What has it done for them, how have their relationships with their partner and their child changed, and what expectations did they have before taking parental leave? - Johan Bävman, photographer