Provocation, Appropriation, and That Blackface Clitoridectomy Cake

sarah_baartman_cake

Here’s an idea for truly provocative art. No more male artists, black or white, speaking for African women. No more ever-more-graphic ever-more-voyeuristic art on the suffering of African women. Stop using the female African body as raw material to be worked – unless you happen to live in one. Then, notice that African women are making their own work about their lives and struggles. Look. Listen. Learn.

Shailja Patel, ‘The missing ingredient in Sweden’s racist-misogynist cake’

h/t Blind Man With A Pistol

Related:  T.F. Charlton & Ako Jacintho debate the meaning of the installation — on multiple levels; how Jonathan Pitts-Wiley stopped worrying & learned to love the blackface clitoridectomy cake.

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3 thoughts on “Provocation, Appropriation, and That Blackface Clitoridectomy Cake

  1. What has haunted me about the images from this spectacle is that no one NO ONE in the photos seems to be the least bit bothered by the offensive cake. In fact, people are positively beaming. It makes your stomach sink. Is my race this clueless the world round?

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  2. First, there is not concept like race. Not in modern sience.

    This has nothing to do with race, it has to do with ignorance and racism,
    a racist cake from a non racist. The Swedish young man, white mother probably absent father that not been around that much.

    It’s about a lack of heritage, lack of belonging, lack of knowledge,
    maybee even anger on everything that’s black. Anger on stereotypes but maybe even anger with the african father too.

    The artist grew up in a socitey surrounded by white people and probably have more of a white identity if one can say so. At the same time he probably been treated as a forgeigner out in society.
    So it seem to be identy problems he is trying to deal with. That’s understandable, but I think it is a problem that he is this ignorant
    about real stuff.

    He has been creating new stereotypes for people to hang on their walls.
    I don’t think he understand the impact of what he actually are doing, Is not productive because people just get new steroetypes in their head between themself and a person who has darker skin complexion. So therefor its just stupid I think.
    The ugly caricatyre black faces he is panting has become trendy for wite people to have on their walls. “Very ectho chic”.
    Its just sick I think. He just dont’ get it.

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  3. I am not sure if I understand why you are so outraged. I believe art gives different feeling to different people. On the moment it didn’t seem to be inappropriate until a lot of people (the establishment, the people owning the good taste and common sense) say it is inappropriate. I saw just a white woman eating the body of a black woman as a reconstruction of history. And people laughed because of the absurdity of the scene. Because we turn the page to colonisation and slavery. No need to look for further explanation, pedigree of the artist and supermarket psychology. It’s art. With such strong jugement, soon nobody will dare to express himself afraid to offend whoever. Shailja Patel wrote: “No more male artists, black or white, speaking for African women”. Male artists with their texts, pictures and art brought awareness about African Women’s fate all around the world. What a shame to condemn them. Only black women should speak about what they go through? Then I am afraid they are left alone and their messages won’t cross the fences of their villages.

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