A quarterly magazine for fathers fills a gap for honest and frill-free magazines for men.
In recent years there has been a healthy flurry of intelligent magazines for women. Refreshing in their honesty, these magazines (think The Gentlewoman, Riposte et al…) shun the reductive stereotypes that have long-dominated “women’s interest” magazines and instead explore issues affecting real women in real life. The women featured in these magazines are not necessarily unknown. These women are however celebrated for the things they have achieved and the boundaries they’ve pushed, and not for the shoes that they wear or their partner’s occupation.
Magazines for men that adopt this same honest approach are a rarity. Fathers is a wonderful exception. A quarterly magazine created in Warsaw, it explores myriad facets of fatherhood through interviews, reports and photoessays. There’s no mention of fast cars or Levi jeans; the content that fills Fathers is both humble and extraordinary. The small format and bookish layout match this approach perfectly, hinting at a handbook quality.
The fifth issue of the magazine explores the value of unconventional parenting: rule-breaking, parental irresponsibility, and challenging children to venture beyond their comfort zones. While cinematographer Wojtek Zieliński recalls the experience of uprooting his young family from their home in Poland to live on a farm in Portugal (above), Anna Maria Szymkowiak discusses the importance of being open to her son about being transgender (below). Other features include a profile of designer Jaime Hayón, a selection of campfire recipes and an exploration into Inuit art (also below).
Although each feature focuses upon a different father with a new extraordinary story to tell, each is also peppered with anecdotes and contemplations that every parent can relate to: the considerations of having another baby, the difficulties of balancing work with a young family, and the morals fundamental to raising a conscientious child.
The front cover of the magazine perfectly encapsulates this honesty. A man with dirty hands, who we later find out is artist Paweł Althamer, clutches a polka-dot tea cup. There’s nothing particularly special about this photograph, and that’s the point. The subject could be any man, any father.
Editors: Marcin Krazny and Mariak Krystman
Art director: Piotr Najar