“On Sunday, April 15th, at the Moderna Museet the Swedish Artists Organisation celebrated World Art Day, as well as celebrating its own 75th birthday. Lena Adelsohn-Liljeroth, the culture Minister, was Invited to speak and a number of artists were invited to create birthday cakes for the celebration. The Minister was informed that the cake would be about the limits of provocative art, and about female genital mutilation. The event was launched with Lena Adelsohn-Liljeroth cutting the first piece of cake from a dark, ruby red velvet filling with black icing, which we understand was created by the Afro-Swedish artist Makode Aj Linde, whose head forms that of the black woman, and is seen with a blackened face screaming with pain each time a guest cuts a slice from the cake. Rather disturbingly for many African women, the minister is pictured laughing as she cuts off the genital area (clitoris)from the metaphorical cake, as the artist Makode screams distastefully. The gaze of the predominantly white Swedish crowd is on Lijeroth who is positioned at the crotch end, as they look on at their visibly ebullient culture minister with seemingly nervous laughter as she becomes a part of the performance – a re-enactment of FGM on a cake made in the image of a disembodied African woman.”
Dr. Claudette Carr, Director, Jethro Institute for Good Governance, BlackWomens Blueprint Barbara Mhangami, Sam Gbele
The Nigger Cake
I lie nauseous bludgeoned to pulp by raucous laughter from an arty audience. My insides churl; dunned by white teeth celebrating the death of my dignity, my privacy, my womanhood. I am nobody, just a piece of cake. Yes, a plumb piece of womanly cake. I am a black cake forced to dance to the dying beat of art strokes and endure searing pain from guttural laughter. I am a black girl child; yes a black child and my torments have been paraded on the arena of comedy to amuse my slavers.
There was a time, a time now buried in history’s dark alcove when my blackness was the definition of nobility. There was a time, a time now eaten and digested by the greed of the imperialists, when our lands shone with prosperity. There was a time, a time now held in trance by nocuous forces, when culture was true to its dynamic wings and flew to better uncharted territories.
There was a time, when butterflies were beautiful and owls, beautiful too. There was a time when black was black, and white white. I hate black whites, white blacks. Oh yes, I hate turncoats swaying on the fraying strings of civilization and gobbling the spicy meals of globalization without a care. Maintain a little decency when eating at the table of knowledge. Calm down your hunger and inquire, for in the roots lie the eternal stream. Drink the pure elements but keep off the frothy babble that got the Swedish Minister of Culture cackling.
We stand here today on the edge of the round grave; a two millenniums deep pit lined by rose thorns. We’ll throw the rosaries to the flames and let its fumes fumigate our flea infested huts. We’ll smoke all our books to plant them permanently on infinite threads of memory. We won’t lie to ourselves; neither will we lie to the world. We won’t lie that this is the first or that it will be the last.
We won’t say that we love your arty cakey presentation that has since become the infamous nigger black woman cake. I’ll put no asterisks on my ‘nigger’ to please the censor’s eye. Neither will I listen to your explanation that the word is derogatory, rather we’ll confound your intentions will our willful usage of the word, every day until we feel we no longer have to use the word to mean what you mean. We’ll create our own meanings, our own interpretations then hand over the derogatory nigger to you; then you can, with much pomp and grandeur, hang it alongside the greats in Hollywood Hall of Fame. At least it would have served its 500 years of evolution.
I won’t tell my mother, my sister, or my daughter to stoop below the white man’s radar of beauty, of aesthetics. I will tell all black women of the world to defend themselves against racist and stereotypical imagery by drowning in the richness of Africanness. Never chase away the sparrow of pride, perched forever on your shoulder. Your strength, your determination, your fortitude even in the face of denigration, your perseverance – are the yardsticks that the world uses to judge the strength of a woman.
For all those art lovers, heaving with laughter and enjoying the sugary slices of clitoris; you deny the African child a chance to earn reprieve from the torturous trial of womanhood. You have unashamedly spit on the grave of my grandmamma. You have awakened my ire against cultural rape. For the artist and other willful collaborators in that racist charade; your stupidity will be your own meal, your own sorrow. Go ahead and eat the dignity of young African girls! Go on, eat and wash it down with a glass of tears
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Shocking photos show Swedish Minister of Culture celebrating with ”n*g*er cake”
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