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Swedish PM urged to condemn "racist cake"

Published torsdag 19 april 2012 kl 13.01
The cake in question. Photo: Pontus Raud / Scanpix

The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) has stepped into "cakegate" questioning Swedish culture minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth's role in the cutting of a cake in the shape of a naked black woman.

Three members of the National Association for African Swedes met the minister last night and afterwards said that they still wanted the minister to resign over last Saturday's cutting of the cake, which they say was "racist."

Now the European Network Against Racism, based in Brussels, has sent a letter to Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, condemning the minister's part in the cake cutting ceremony at Stockholm's Museum of Modern Art, which was celebrating World Art Day and the 75th anniversary of The Swedish Artists' National Organization.

"The episode is a deep insult against people who suffer daily from racist ridicule and against women who are subjected to genital mutilation. We urge you to take responsibility and publicly condemn such racist incidents," writes ENAR chairperson Chibo Onyeji.

He is asking for an official apology from the government.

The cake was made by the black artist Makode Linde, who claims the Association for African Swedes has misunderstood his artwork. In a statement, the National Organisation of Swedish Artists said:

"Makode Linde's cake is an anti-racist work of art. It is part of a series of works called "Afromantics", the purpose of which is to shed light upon the issue of racism. Linde has been working with that concept since 2004."

"The fact that the Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth cut a piece of Makode Linde's art cake was not meant as a conspiracy, neither by the organizers nor the artist. The Swedish Artists' National Organization regrets that the Minister's participation at the event has been perceived as racist."

Makode Linde will be appearing on Radio Sweden for an in-depth interview on Friday.

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