Sadaf Ahmadi

SVT: Sadaf Ahmadi turns down the Cultural Center's offer of a new venue: "Like a dark shoebox"

UPDATED September 8, 2023 | PUBLISHED September 7, 2023

Sadaf Ahmadi, the artist who is not allowed to exhibit hanging female statues in chadors in Borås, is currently receiving attention from various quarters. She is now receiving invitations, including one to exhibit in the European Parliament.

“This is criticism of political Islam, and I see strong reasons to support that,” says Charlie Weimers (SD), a Member of the European Parliament.

Sadaf Ahmadi confirms to SVT that she has received several invitations after it became known that she is not allowed to exhibit at Borås Cultural Center.

Politicians react

Charlie Weimers, an EU parliamentarian from the Sweden Democrats, invited Sadaf Ahmadi after learning that parts of the exhibition had been stopped.

“I have not yet received a response, but I have explained that if she chooses to accept, it is by no means a statement in favor of our party’s politics. It’s simply an opportunity to exhibit her art in the European Parliament,” he says.

Parliamentarians can invite

EU parliamentarians have the opportunity to exhibit art in the parliament twice during a mandate period. For example, representatives of the Liberals have previously exhibited the photo exhibition “Last Night in Sweden” after Trump’s statement in 2016, and Left Party’s Malin Björk has previously exhibited the art of Elisabeth Olsson Wallin.

“I cannot see a better way to use my place than to dedicate it to this,” says Charlie Weimers.

He strongly criticizes the decision of Borås Cultural Chief Ida Burén to stop parts of the exhibition in the foyer of Borås Cultural Center for security reasons.

“In this case, it is pure censorship. Ahmadi is clear that it is not criticism of Islam but of political Islam, the veil mandate, and the regime in Iran. And I see very strong reasons to support that.”

At the same time, we have the second-highest terrorism threat level in Sweden; don’t we need to protect Swedish citizens?

“We have to ask ourselves if the best way to protect Swedish citizens is to give up freedom of expression.”

Even cultural politicians in Uddevalla are interested in exhibiting Ahmadi’s art. Henrik Sundström (M), the second vice-chairman of the municipal board, says he is seeking contact with her.