Swedish Culture Minister in race storm

17.04.2012 - 17:48

Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, Sweden's Minister for Culture has caused outrage after photographs of her on World Art Day were posted on Facebook showing the Minister with a cake in the form of a grotesque parody of an African woman.

The Minister was photographed laughing and smiling as she posed with the cake, designed by artist Makode Aj Linde, whose head formed part of the display, described the object as a 'genital mutilation cake'.

The Minister for Culture began by performing a ”clitoridectomy” on the cake, clearly visible in the above photo.

"In our view, this simply adds to the mockery of racism in Sweden," Kitimbwa Sabuni, spokesperson for the National Afro-Swedish Associatio told The Local, adding, "This was a racist spectacle."

Moderna Museet, the gallery that housed the installation and party, claimed the display was intended to raise the issue of genital mutilation.

The National Afro-Swedish Association have called for the Minister to resign, saying, "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," adding, ""We have no confidence in her any longer."

The Minister played down the storm, telling the TT News Agency, ""I understand quite well that this is provocative and that it was a rather bizarre situation," she said.  "I was invited to speak at World Art Day about art's freedom and the right to provoke. And then they wanted me to cut the cake."

However, Sambuni was unimpressed, "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."