Recently, the Swedish Minister of Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, participated in an art installation meant to draw attention to female circumcision of African women.
At the World Art Day exhibition at Stockholm's Museum of Modern Art, Liljeroth and guests proceeded to cut into the genitalia of a cake designed to look like a caricature of an African woman. The artist, Makode Aj Linde, wore blackface and posed as the head of the cake. Each time someone cut into the cake, the artist screamed in mock pain.
Read about it and watch the video here: http://www.friatider.se/shocking-photos-shows-swedish-minister-of-culture-celebrating-with-niger-cake
THIS FORM OF RACISM IS INTOLERABLE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. To allow it to occur is inexcusable. To argue for its validity under the guise of academic reasoning or artistic liberty is terribly misguided. The actions of all parties involved were irresponsible and ignorant.
SIGN THE PETITION. Bring attention to this issue and hold Liljeroth and the Swedish Museum of Modern Art accountable.
There are diverse reasons for the call to resign. Each supporter has his/her own beliefs and reasons. The bottom line is that Liljeroth needs to go. I wanted to share my beliefs with you. Here is why I personally am for Liljeroth's resignation:
I believe that the event showed a terribly insensitive response to a complex issue involving many different human beings. Participation in the cake-cutting event was racially insensitive, culturally insensitive, insensitive to gender and misguided on an intellectual and artistic level. I wish that artists such as those involved in the End FGM Art for Action Tour would have had such a platform as Makode Linde. Yes, he provoked debate and discussion, but he did not offer solutions to the problem of FGM. Creating solutions to the problem is an aim of the movement to end FGM. The goal is to end FGM for African women AS WELL AS women in other countries. This is where we come in. Solutions require activism, conversation, and art that heals as much as it provokes. With this petition, I hope to expand the current international groundswell into a movement of hope and activism. Liljeroth's primary responsibility is to serve as a mediator in the act of cultural translation and inter/intracultural relations. She failed to uphold this responsibility and showed a grave error of judgment. Please bring attention to this issue by signing the petition. Lilejeroth and the Moderna Museet need to be held accountable in order for progress to take place in the movement to end FGM.