A Swedish organization promoting the rights of people of African origin on Tuesday called for the minister to resign for participating in a “tasteless, racist spectacle” that’s made international headlines.
“According to Moderna Museet, the cake eating party was intended to highlight the problem of female circumcision, but how this is supposed to be done with a cake depicting a racist caricature of a black woman … is unclear,” said Kitimbwa Sabuni, head of the African Swedish National Association.
The artist is speaking out and says this is all a misunderstanding.
“A lot of people saw the images online and took them out of context and they accused me and the culture minister to be racist,” the artist Makode Linde said in a video interview with Al Jazeera. He says he’s criticizing aspects of just this subject and think “the people who have been upset about the art piece or about the images they;ve seen I think is all misunderstood the intention or agenda of me as an artist.”
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the museum emphasized that it was against “any form or racism” and that the event featuring the controversial installation was organized by the Swedish Artists’ National Organisation (KRO) to highlight “the fight against censorship and for freedom of expression”.
“Moderna Museet understands and respects that people find the pictures and video clips from World Art Day upsetting, especially when they are shown out of context. The intention of KRO and Makode Linde was to draw attention to and discuss today’s racism, not to reinforce it,” the museum said.
The museum was evacuated Tuesday after they received a bomb threat from an english speaker that accused the museum of being racist.
How did this idea come about as an art installation?
Was the Minister of Culture aware of your art installation or was it a surprise?
How have people responded to you and the art installation?
Why did you choose female circumcision as the subject?
How did social media impact the way the art installation was perceived?