Guest post by Peter Sweden
After months of negotiations, the Socialist Democrats have formed a coalition government together with the Green party.
The newly appointed Minister for Culture, Amanda Lind, has already proven to be controversial. Only hours after being appointed, she wrote on Instagram praising amongst others Mehmet Kaplan, calling him a “pioneer” and “hero”.
Mehmet Kaplan was formerly the Minister for Housing in Sweden, but was forced to resign after it was revealed he had connections to fascist and Islamist organisations. He has also compared Israel to the Nazis, something that Israel said was “nothing but anti-semitism”.
Unsurprisingly the new minister has already come out attacking right-wingers, saying that “nationalists and right-wing populists are a threat to free speech”
The new Minister for Culture has also been widely talked about on social media, with many pointing out her “hippie” style. Amanda Lind is a licensed psychologist and has studied herbal alternative medicine, acupuncture and Chinese medicine. She told Swedish website Yippie Härnösand that she is interested in roleplay and cartoons and that she looks at life in a “spiritual way”.
Hanif Bali, a popular politician from the centre-right Moderate party wrote on twitter after her appointment “I look forward to having a hippie as Minister for Culture…tons of weed at the department”
Amanda Lind’s husband has also been in the spotlight recently. Björn Ola Lind, a 55 year old artist has been a prominent face at alternative festivals in Sweden, and has produced films based on Sami mythology.
This is the husband to Sweden's new minister for culture.
Is this what we are looking forward to having as culture in Sweden now…🤔
Full video here https://t.co/nEiMDODzWL https://t.co/2pgD4Og5bG
— PeterSweden (@PeterSweden7) January 22, 2019
There are videos of him on YouTube campaigning for the Green party by dressing up in white face and playing the didgeridoo made out of moose bones. At one point in the video he is heard saying “the spirit of the moose manifests through our machines”.
In other YouTube videos he is seen playing the didgeridoo at the top of a mountain in Sweden together with a woman who appears to be performing butoh dance.
Other photos of him on social media shows him again in white face hovering in the air over a tree stump dressed with a turban on his head. He told Swedish newspaper Expressen that he is interested in the Australian Aborigines, and that he has been accepted and is part of the Bundjalund tribe.
The appointment of Amanda Lind as Minister for Culture has received criticism from Historian Åsa Linderborg, saying “The new Swedish Minister for Culture has, just like her predecessor Alice Bah Kuhnke, never talked about cultural political questions”
Looking back at Amanda Linds performance as a politician raises a few questions. Back in 2015 when she was a local politician for the Green party in Härnösand, she spent nearly $47,500 of taxpayers money on a new bicycle rack that could park up to 12 bicycles. The newspaper Allehanda calculated that it should only have cost around $11,000 for the project.
Now she will be the head at the Swedish Department of Culture which in 2018 had a budget of $1.76 billion.
Here is Peter’s video on the culture minister.