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    Meet Silvana Imam, the Queer Feminist Rapper Who’s Taking on Sweden’s Fascists with Hip-Hop

    While outsiders often see Sweden as a kind of utopian ideal, the rise of the Sweden Democrats (who polled third in the 2014 election) and news of Nazi-related violence would suggest otherwise. Imam is at the front of a wave of socially conscious and feminist rap that has risen concurrently with these issues and with the rise of the feminist party, Feministik Initiativ (FI), which, in the 2014 election, received their best-ever share of the vote. Imam has performed at FI events—she says they are “the only political party who wants to change the structures from within”—but does not consider herself a political artist.

    “I’m a conscious rapper,” she says. “I write songs about my life, and since I write through a lesbian-immigrant-woman’s perspective, it’s labeled as “political.” I’m letting people know how fucked up the world is through my art. This is about my life and my own survival in this patriarchal and anti-democratic world. A woman who writes love songs to other women causes immediate chaos in most peoples’ minds? That is something you should question. and not whether I’m political or not.”