Makode Aj Linde (the artist behind "Painful Cake")



Can everyone see how this is not okay?

Look, we talk all the time about how black women’s pain is often co-opted or turned into a gimmick for white people’s goals—and we’ve even had great discussion about how people of color will do the same to black people. This is one of those times. I don’t know about Makode’s make-up, but I know they are not white. And this is bullshit.

At the end of the day, I don’t care what they were doing or what they thought they were going to accomplish—they put painful history of black women’s pain (not starting with but including the Venus Hottentot) on display for white people to “teach” them about said pain. I can’t even begin to describe how truly fucked up that is, and how it enrages me. Even within POC spaces, black women are at the bottom of the totem pole. Our pain is hung out to dry for the benefit of white people and when it backfires, it is even more worthless. If it can’t even be used for teaching fodder, what good is it?

I don’t care who Makode is; they are not for us. If they meant to shock, they could have done it with trivializing the pain of black women. If they meant to teach, they could’ve done so another way. I’m tired of our history supposedly being used for the benefit of other POC. Makode was allowed to be there, probably paid, invited to sit under a table and scream for the laughter and enjoyment of white people. That’s all it was. It didn’t do shit.

MOC sacrificing black women to appease whites?

this is the norm.

theyre just as keen on anti-black misogyny.

Here is his facebook page, if people want to comment there.

This is what he has said, according to Colorlines:

“Documentation from my female genital mutilation cake performance earlier today at stockholm moma. This is After getting my vagaga mutilated by the minister of culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth. Before cutting me up she whispered “Your life will be better after this” in my ear,” the artist wrote on Facebook. has an interview with the artist that offers more context: 

Makode: It’s sad if people feel offended, but considering the low number of artists in Sweden who identify as Afro-swedish I find it sad that the Afro-Swedish Association haven’t followed my artistry and do not understand what my work is about.

What did the minister of culture say to you when she was there? Was she hesitant about eating of the cake?

Makode: I didn’t clearly see her reaction, but judging from the pictures she was surprised when she realised that the cake was living. And before she put the knife into me, into the cake, she said “Your life will be better like this”. And when she put the knife into me I started screaming and begged her to stop. This was a part of the performance.

But what was the thought behind you being a living head?

Makode: I wanted to somehow make the cake more human, not just a silent object. More interactive, simply.

Can we make a cake of him and cut it up?


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