Thursday, November 12, 2015

Criticism of the Opera after racist advertising – Expressen

On his advertising poster for Swan Lake is the Royal Opera photo on a white foot pressing against a black man. After strong criticism leveled at the picture, as it meant was racist, picks Opera Now it away. ??

– We’re not welcome in the cultural sector and certainly not at the Opera, says Araia Ghirmai Sebhatu, which is a of those who criticized.

On the promotional poster for the Royal Opera’s production of Swan Lake, one sees a white foot pressed down a black person’s head. The image has been perceived by many as offensive, and on Thursday received Royal Opera strong criticism. One of those who responded are Araia Ghirmai Sebhatu, founder of the organization Black Coffe that collects black, feminist africa Swedes.

– It made me act was obvious violence inspired imagery. A black man getting his face depressed by a white foot. An image that is reminiscent of how mental and physical ill-treated in Sweden because we are black. Threat and hatfall against African Swedes have increased by 41 percent, he says and continues:

– The picture is reminiscent of the attack in Trollhättan, where the African Swedish youth was slashed down and murdered by right-wing terrorist.

His criticism of the picture quickly spread in social media and soon became many on his side. Even celebrities such as Adam Tensta has responded. On his Facebook page he writes “Do you see the pattern? Opera is already one of the most conservative institutions,” we “, choose to portray a dark-skinned person in this way.”

Wednesday announcement Royal Opera that the image will be removed from their skyldfönster. They apologized if anyone has taken offense at that.

How did you think about the choice of image?

– Our intention was to show an intimate rendezvous of it artistic work Swan Lake by choreographer Mats Ek. The man in the picture is one of the Royal Ballet’s best dancers why he has been cast as the prince, and visible on the poster, says Torbjörn Eriksson, Press and Communications at the Royal Opera.

What did you signal?

– It wants to show an intimate encounter between the prince and the swan.

Can you understand the criticism?

– Because we have received reactions and questions the image we have chosen to remove it from our storefront. When, as here, is taken out of context, we understand that it can be perceived as problematic.

How do you work on diversity and representation?

– Our dance company comprised of dancers from all over the world, 25 different nationalities. We are actively working to increase access to business and to the Opera House will be open for all.

Araia Ghirmai Sebhatu mean that it is good that the Royal Opera acted quickly, but it is not enough in the long run.

– It is good that the superficial proves responsive and act upon it, and quickly. Now it remains to see if they are interested to be sensitive in their personnel policy is clearly inadequate when such a picture can go through so many layers without anyone reacting in the organization before the picture comes out in the media, says Araia Ghirmai Sebhatu.

The fact that the Royal Opera uses a picture says Araia Ghirmai Sebhatu is further evidence of racism and Afro-phobia in the Swedish cultural world.

– We are not welcome in the cultural sector and certainly not at the Opera. The picture is also symptomatic of how Africa Swedes conditions looks at the labor market in general – we dominate låglönarbetena and has the most pronounced wage stagnation of all groups. Violence against Africans bodies, security and the conditions are quite acceptable according to this picture.


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