We’re not sure who the genius was that gave the green light for the Swedish Minister of Culture to slice a cake fashioned after an African woman, but they’re regretting it now. Sweden finds itself uncomfortably on the world stage after Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth was shown in photos (and video, see below) attending an art installation event in conjunction with World Art Day on April 15. Adelsohn Liljeroth is seen cutting up the cake, which was allegedly fashioned to highlight the horrible practice of genital mutilation, and the African population of her country is demanding justice.
“In our view, this simply adds to the mockery of racism in Sweden,” said Kitimbwa Sabuni, spokesperson for the National Afro-Swedish Association, to the Swedish publication The Local. “This was a racist spectacle.” Makode Aj Linde, the artist who created the event and also created the head for the cake, said via his Facebook page (which appears to be deleted now) that Adelsohn Liljeroth said to him, “Before cutting me up she whispered, ‘Your life will be better after this’ in my ear.”
Adelsohn Liljeroth seemed a little too gleeful to be cutting up the cake and as a result, Sabuni along with other Africans aren’t buying the idea that the cake was meant to bring attention to the horrors of genital mutilation. “According to the Moderna Museet, the ‘cake party’ was meant to problematize female circumcision but how that is accomplished through a cake representing a racist caricature of a black woman complete with ‘black face’ is unclear,” said Sabuni in a written statement.
Naturally, Adelsohn Liljeroth tried to sidestep the furor surrounding the event, stating that her actions were “misinterpreted.” Sabuni took offense to her reply, saying, “It’s extremely insulting for the minister to claim that we’ve somehow ‘misunderstood’ racism.”
Check the video and photos in the gallery.
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Photo: The Local