• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'Racist' Swedish artist's Danish show cancelled

The Local · 29 Sep 2014, 09:28

Published: 29 Sep 2014 09:28 GMT+02:00

The Danish radio station Radio24syv has cancelled its plans to have the works of ‘racist’ Swedish artist Dan Park exhibited in Copenhagen. 
 
The controversial Park was convicted by a Malmö court in August on charges of inciting racial agitation and defamation. 
 
Radio24syv obtained more than 30 of Park’s works, including ‘Hang-on Afrobians’, which depicts three Swedish residents with African backgrounds portrayed with nooses around their necks. 
 
Other works include a Catholic bishop receiving fellatio from a young boy and Jesus having sex with Muhammad. Nine of the 31 art pieces obtained by Radio24syv through Park’s gallerist were ordered to be destroyed by the Swedish court. 
 
Radio24syv’s plans to have a gallerist in Copenhagen display the works as a statement on free speech came under heavy scrutiny, especially considering that the station is financed through public licence funds. The controversy led the station to cancel the ‘happening’ originally scheduled for Tuesday. 
 
“We found it interesting that a long line of well-known Danish debaters threw themselves into the debate on the necessity of displaying pieces without having seen them. But given the recent debate about our initiative, we must unfortunately conclude that the exhibition cannot go forward,” Radio24syv wrote in a press release. 
 
The station had initially planned to find a gallerist who would be willing to display the controversial pieces of art in an undisclosed location in Copenhagen. 
 
“What we’ve done is to set up the exhibition at a secret location in Copenhagen, frame and light the pictures, then lock the door. In principle, the exhibition does not therefore exist. This is a private action and does not exist in the public domain,” Mads Brügger, the station’s head of programming, told DR. 
 
The station’s plans were the result of extensive debate in Denmark about Park’s conviction in Sweden. The two nations typically have very different approaches to the topic of the freedom of speech. Recent examples include a Danish art project that was meant to highlight diversity being banned from a Swedish festival and Radio24syv’s programme aimed at getting Swedes to break their “downward spiral of silence”.
 
Park shot to infamy in 2011 when he created and distributed posters with a picture of Jallow Momodou of the National Afro-Swedish Association superimposed on the image of a naked man in chains.
 
"Our negro slave has run away," read the text on the posters.
 
Story continues below…
Momodou claimed the posters were racist and offensive, while Park argued that the purpose of the posters was to highlight the issue of free speech.
 
At the time of his initial arrest in 2011, Park told The Local that he thought the prosecutors were overreacting.
 
”Was I surprised to be charged? Yes and no. I think it is a waste of tax payers' money mainly. It wasn't a big deal. And no one should be able to tell me what kind of art I can create,” he said.
 
Park is currently serving a six-month jail sentence for his art and was also forced to pay a total of 60,000 Swedish kronor ($8,700) in damages to four people depicted in his pictures. 

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
When the Village Vanguard came to Denmark
Dexter Gordon was one of several US jazz musicians to settle in Denmark. Photo: Tom Marcello/Flickr

A tale of migration and jazz in 1960s Copenhagen.

Roskilde Festival 2016
The Local's not-quite-live Roskilde 2016 blog
Tenacious D with Jack Black, Kyle Gass and Satan himself closed the Orange stage on Thursday night. Photo: Nils Meilvang/Scanpix 2016

We're posting updates all week as a field in Roskilde is temporarily turned in to the fourth largest city in Denmark.

Experience Denmark the Danish way – by bike
Denmark's small size and beautiful nature make it ideal for a cycling holiday. Photo: Niclas Jessen/VisitDenmark

The combination of exercise, culture and nature compressed into a small area makes Denmark the ideal place for a cycling holiday.

Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
File photo of volunteers awaiting arriving migrants at Copenhagen Central Station. Photo: Nils Meilvang/Scanpix

UPDATED: A total of 79,600 kroner was seized from five Iranian nationals.

Opinion
Stop trashing your city, Copenhagen residents!
This is not a garbage can! Photo: Louis Volpe

Denmark and its capital have a lot to be proud of, but the way residents treat the entire city like a rubbish bin is not one of them, writes American expat Louis Volpe.

Danish bankers eye Brexit cash-in
File photo: Vladimir Wrangel/Iris/Scanpix

Experts in the Danish finance industry have called for changes to tax laws so that Denmark can take advantage of a potential banking exodus from London following last week's Brexit vote.

Dejlige Days Welcome
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Learning Danish will open up personal and professional opportunities. Photo: william87/Iris/Scanpix

Relocation expert Melanie Haynes offers up her eight top reasons for why you should at least make an effort to learn the local language.

Danes with foreign spouses to be hit by new restriction
Some 200,000 Danes living abroad could be impacted by the new rule. Photo: Iris

Danes and their foreign spouses will now have a much harder time living in Denmark.

Danish students and caps: What’s all the noise about?
Thousands of young students have taken to the streets of Denmark wearing their caps. Photo: Knud Erik Christensen/Colourbox

During the month of June, Danish towns are overtaken by jubilant young adults wearing assorted styles of graduation caps (studenterhuer). The Local brings you a guide to what the caps mean, their history and significance to the class of 2016.

Photo gallery
Devil horns up! A photo journey through Copenhell
Copenhell was completely sold out for the first time ever. Photo: Philip B. Hansen

The Local joined the headbanging masses at this year's Copenhell heavy metal festival to bring you this devilish photo report.

Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
International
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
National
Denmark scraps green card but spares current holders
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Society
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
National
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
International
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
National
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Society
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
National
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Culture
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
2,266
jobs available