The winner of Flamman’s satire competition: “Erdogan devours his own people”

Henry Åström and his dog. Illustration: Henry Åström.

The jury fell for Henry Åström’s work, a paraphrase of Francisco de Goya’s haunting painting ”Saturn devouring his son”. This time, the focus has shifted to the horrors committed by the Turkish regime.


The interest in Flamman’s satire competition has been overwhelming. During the last few days, more than 400 contributions have been submitted – everything from a five year old’s portrait of Erdogan with balloons in his ears, to obscenities, poster art and sculptures.

The winning work was created by Henry Åström. The jury concludes that:

“It is a paraphrase of Goya’s masterpiece Saturn devouring his son from 1823, a comment on the evil of his time, like war and the inquisition. In this version it is the president of Turkey who eats his own children. It’s hard-hitting but beautiful, naive but terrifying – the winner captures every nuance of the current situation.”

When Flamman calls the winner Henry Åström, he is stunned.

– I often turn to Goya to capture mania and paranoia. Then it struck me how Erdogan swallows his own people, the Kurds not the least.

When asked about the attention in Turkish media, Åström says that “it would be cool if it makes someone angry”.

The competition has caused strong reactions around the world and been mentioned in Norwegian, Dutch, German and Kurdish press. The Turkish paper loyal to the regime, Sabah, writes that ”the scandals in Sweden never end” and that Flamman ”has initiated a scandalous competition with the purpose of insulting president Erdogan”.

In solidarity with Flamman’s competition, many editorial boards have decided to join forces and publish the work as well – Expressen Kultur, Liberal debatt, Syre, Arbetaren, Ny Tid (Finland), Internationalen and Sydöstran.

The jury consisted of the editor in chief Leonidas Aretakis, cultural editor and art historian Paulina Sokolow and Rojin Pertow, editor in chief for the Swedish magazine for comics, Galago.