The National Association for African Swedes wants Minister of Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth to resign after she took part in what they call a “tacky racist ceremony." During celebration for World Art Day she cut a piece of a cake that was in the shape of a naked black woman.
Last month the minister attended a party at the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm. After her speech she was asked to cut up the cake which, according to the museum, was supposed to shine a light on female circumcision which is internationally recognized as a human rights violation.
But the Association for African Swedes says that the cake was a racist caricature of a black woman.
“To say that you did this for a good cause only makes the mockery of people who are victims of racism and of circumcision worse,” Kitimbwa Sabuni, spokesperson for the association, told news agency TT.
Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth says that she can understand why people might get upset.
“I understand that this can feel provocative. And it was a bizarre situation. I was invited to speak at World Art Day about the freedom of art and the right to be provocative. And then they asked me to cut up the cake,” she told TT.
She adds that it is not enough to make her resign. Instead she suggests that the association discuss the issue with the artist.
Meanwhile, the artist behind the cake, Makode Linde, who was born in Stockholm, says he thinks the the organization misunderstood his artwork.
“Considering the poor offering of art in Sweden that could be defined as African-Swedish, one would have hoped that the people in the National Association for African Swedes were more aware of the artwork that I do,” he told news agency TT.