The Swedish minister of culture can’t have her cake and eat it, too. Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth is being accused of racism by the African-Swedish Association after cutting a cake depicting a black woman.
According to The Guardian, the cake, created by artist Makode Aj Linde, was meant to depict female genital mutilation. Linde is shown as the head of the woman cake, screaming every time someone cuts a slice.
Liljeroth was attending an event at Moderna Museet in Stockholm and was invited to cut the cake, which she did.
A spokesman for the African-Swedish Association is accusing Liljeroth of “add[ing] to the mockery of racism in Sweden.”
Kitimbwa Sabuni and the association have called for Liljeroth’s resignation because, they say, the cake was not aimed at genital mutilation, but instead was just a “a racist caricature of a black woman.”
“Her participation, as she laughs, drinks and eats cake,” Sabuni said, “merely adds to the insult against people who suffer from racist taunts and against women affected by circumcision.”
Liljeroth said she understands the association’s criticism, but doesn’t think she did anything wrong. She agreed that the cake was a little strange, but was misinterpreted.
“[Linde] 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.”
Again, Sabuni cried foul, saying the minister’s statements were “extremely insulting” and that her participation in the event was “totally over the line and can only be interpreted as the culture minister supporting the Moderna Museet’s racist prank.”