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Swedish minister of culture accused of racism

After cutting a cake shaped like a naked African woman, the Swedish minister of culture stirs controversy

Ahram Online, Wednesday 18 Apr 2012
African woman cake
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After participating in an installation that involved cutting a cake in the shape of a naked African woman, the Swedish minister of culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth has raised controversy. He has been accused of racism. The cutting of the cake took place on World Art Day, which marks the 75th anniversary of the Swedish Artists Federation, at Stockholm's modern art museum on Sunday.

The cake, made by the African-Swedish artist Makode Aj Linde, was intended to highlight the issue of female circumcision. With each person cutting the cake, the artist screamed loudly. Aj Linde had told several news sources including Al Jazeera and BBC that he was misunderstood and that he used his art for many years to criticise stereotypes made about black people.

However, according to BBC, the Association for African Swedes said it was a crude racist caricature and called for Ms Liljeroth to resign. In defence of the installation, the minister of culture told the TT news agency that art needs to be provocative.

 

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