When was the last time you saw a man with a baby on his back?
When was the last time you saw a man carrying a baby on their back? Quite a while, right? Maybe never. The case is no different in Dakar, Senegal, a truth accepted by Marta Moreiras.
Her project to make men carry babies on their backs has been shortlisted in the portraiture category in this year’s Sony World Photography Awards Professional competition.
She says getting a photo of a woman carrying a baby on her back is beyond common. It’s easy. It’s seen everywhere. But men, that was a hard shot to take, seeing as her photo shoot session was held out on the streets.
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The Spanish photographer told the BBC they attracted so much attention it was hard taking the photos. She’d called friends she knew had had children recently. And she got clicking.
Some of the comments from the audience included “…I’m going to call my husband. We don’t see this every day.”
But the problem is not that the men cannot carry their children on their backs. They can. They just don’t do it while outside.
"There's a big division here between public spaces and private spaces… and it's very important what others think of you," Moreiras says.
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This does not mean the men are not present in their children’s lives and play their role of providing. However, you will hardly see men taking the children to school or bathing them.
The photographs were exhibited at Dak'Art, the African Contemporary Art Biennale.
In order for her project to have more impact, Moreiras approached male public figures. Some had no problems carrying the baby on their back, as long as the photoshoot would be indoors. Asked to do it out in the streets, they said no.
"I'm still working on it - I'm happy to have as many daddies as possible because I believe that to destroy this stereotype of mums with babies, that we have seen forever, we need to do at least the same amount of images with men."
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