The Euphemism Of Racial Cake- What Was The Swedish Cultural Minister Thinking?

Posted on April 20, 2012 in Specials

By Anannya Roy Chowdhury:

The N-WORD! Well, all of us know what does that mean. For political correctness or veiling stark expressions of ethnic racism, in the wake of the present century, such terms have been held derogatory. However, no matter how many beeps or ***** be used to cover the verbatim appearance of these racist words (slangs in the broad sense), there are more than enough practical instances to prove that equality is a trait not even distantly related to the society today.

To kick start this discussion on the various aspects of racism, let me bring to light one of the most shocking events that transpired in an uptown art museum in the grandest of the Scandinavian cities, Stockholm.
15th of April, 2011 witnessed a rather barbarous act, which was a direct revelation of the age long practices of discrimination against the African Swedes residing in Sweden and Denmark. The Museum of Modern Art that was celebrating the World Art came under criticism and scrutiny because of a CAKE! In what they called an attempt to alleviate the taboo related to female genital mutilation practices, the organization, which surprisingly is an Afro-Sweden one, designed a cake modeled like a naked stereotypical African woman’s torso. The event was summoned by the cultural minister of the state, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth who cut the cake in her genitals in a demonstration symbolic of the circumcision of external gentalia as practiced by many African communities. All the presiding dignitaries followed the norm amidst laughter and ironically, wails from a member of the art group who let out excruciating cries each time the knife went into her privates and parallel to it, stabbed the very face of humanity.

What bothered the black people was the fact that the minister when questioned about this insensitivity made the following remark. “While the symbolism in the piece is despicable, it is unfortunate and highly regrettable that the presentation has been interpreted as an expression of racism by some,”… “The artistic intent was the exact opposite.” The Minister has presented her defense but hue and cry is being raised for her resignation.

Although it is tough to expect such a callous act given the fact that the organization and the designer, Makode Linde are both of African origin, this is what the artiste had to comment, “I didn’t intend for anyone to feel singled out or embarrassed,”… “But we’re talking about female genital mutilation — is there any comfortable or cozy way to talk about it?”

It is indeed a shame that Sweden, the highest seat of the sexual revolution is struggling to accept their fellow black counterparts. While this incident may not be reflective of the entire population, point has to be noted that the Cultural Minister was associated with this act. Racism is a sensitive issue. We have not yet reached that stage where we can openly joke about it because it is still rampant in our society.

Eating a cake or screaming out “nee how”… whatever it be, do we think letting your melanin content decide your fate is acceptable?

Youth Ki Awaaz

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