Swedish Culture Minister Blasted for ‘Racist Cake’ Stunt [Video]

Sweden’s minister of culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth got into a sticky situation after photos of her cutting into a cake depicting a naked black woman sparked an uproar.

Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth was to take part in an event at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the capital’s museum of modern art where works by Picasso and Dalí can be seen.

The guest of honour was expected to cut the cake, an art installation meant to highlight the issue of female genital mutilation. She began, as instructed, by taking a chunk from the cake’s “clitoris”.

The artist, Makode Aj Linde, who created the installation for World Art Day on 15 April, was cutting the cake as well, with his blackened face and head sticking up next to the cake’s stomach and arms. How it was discovered later, the cakes “insides” were a gruesome red.

Linde uploaded photos of the “genital mutilation cake” on his Facebook page and wrote below: “This is After getting my vagaga mutilated by the minister of culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth. Before cutting me up she whispered “Your life will be better after this” in my ear.”

He couldn’t even imagine that the images would provoke such a furious response, with Sweden’s African-Swedish Association describing it as “a racist spectacle”.

A spokesman for the association, Kitimbwa Sabuni, told Sweden’s The Local newspaper: “In our view, this simply adds to the mockery of racism in Sweden.”

In addition, the association demanded her resignation. In a statement, Sabuni singled out that the association doubted a cake party meant to highlight the issue of female genital mutilation had achieved its aim. Instead, the cake was just “a racist caricature of a black woman”.

As The Guardian reports, Sabuni said the minister’s decision to take part in a dubious event with cannibalistic overtones showed her “incompetence and lack of judgment”.

Sabuni told the newspaper: “Her participation, as she laughs, drinks and eats cake, merely adds to the insult against people who suffer from racist taunts and against women affected by circumcision.”

Adelsohn Liljeroth, however, said she sympathised with the association’s criticisms but denied she had done anything wrong. The minister of culture also conceded the cake installation was provocative and rather bizarre, and explained that she had been invited to speak about artistic freedom and the right to offend.

She added: “They wanted me to cut the cake.” Ultimately, the artist was to blame for any confusion, she said, arguing that the situation had been misinterpreted. “He claims that it challenges a romanticised and exoticised view from the west about something that is really about violence and racism,” she said. “Art needs to be provocative.”

Sabuni dismissed the minister’s remarks and described them as “extremely insulting”. He added: “Sweden thinks of itself as a place where racism is not a problem. That just provides cover for not discussing the issue, which leads to incidents like this.”

“To participate in a racist manifestation masquerading as art is totally over the line and can only be interpreted as the culture minister supporting the Moderna Museet’s racist prank,” Sabuni added.

Share This article

We welcome comments that advance the story directly or with relevant tangential information. We try to block comments that use offensive language, all capital letters or appear to be spam, and we review comments frequently to ensure they meet our standards. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Coinspeaker Ltd.