Sweden's minister of culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth found herself in a sticky situation after photos of her cutting into a cake depicting a naked black woman sparked an uproar.
The Local, Sweden's English language newspaper, reports that the taxpayer-funded party took place on April 15th as a celebration of World Art Day. According to Sweden's daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter, the minister has received demands for her resignation after she kicked off the event by slicing into the cake.
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As party-goers cut into the cake-woman's body, a human head screamed in pain.
The performance artist responsible for portraying the cake's head, a man (yes, a man) identified by The Local as Makode Aj Linde, posted a comment alongside a photo of the cake on his Facebook page.
"This is After getting my vagaga mutilated by the minister of culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth," Linde wrote. "Before cutting me up she whispered "Your life will be better after this" in my ear."
Many were quick to condemn the installation as racist.
"[The minister's] participation, as she laughs, drinks, and eats cake, merely adds to the insult against people who suffer from racist taunts and against women affected by circumcision," Kitimbwa Sabuni, spokesperson for the National Afro-Swedish Association, said in a statement.
According to the daily Svenska Dagbladet, Linde believes that the National Afro-Swedish Association misunderstood his artwork.
The installation "was reportedly meant to highlight the issue of female circumcision," The Local reports.
According to the World Health Organization, about 140 million girls and women are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation, which has no health benefits and is generally carried out when girls are between infancy and 15-years-old. Amnesty International explains:
Female genital mutilation is the removal of part or all of the external female genitalia. In its most severe form, a woman or girl has all of her genitalia removed and then stitched together, leaving a small opening for intercourse and menstruation. It is practiced in 28 African countries on the pretext of cultural tradition or hygiene.
You can watch the installation in the video below.
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UPDATE: This post has been edited to update our sources.