‘The Real Tarzan’ and other colonial fantasies

Blackbookmag.com reports that two British artists have built a “Heart of Darkness”-themed hotel in the shape of a steamboat on the roof of a Thames River arts center in London. It is named Roi des Belges (King of the Belgians). They charge between 120 and 185 pounds for singles or couples per night to stay in the hotel. “Inside, the cozy paddle steamboat is lined with timber, vintage books, and props that echo details from Conrad’s works, such as maps of Africa.” Two days ago, The Guardian (of all publications) put up a travel piece with this introduction: “I was alone in the middle of deepest, darkest Congo. Worse still, I was being chased by eight angry tribesmen in two dugout canoes – and they were gaining on me.” We figured it must be a joke. Then there’s this guy, DeWet Du Toit (in the images above and below), who left South Africa to work as a security guard in Manchester, and returned to George, a coastal town in the Western Cape region of South Africa (where else?), where he lives out his fantasy as ‘the real Tarzan’, complete with promotional video (he wants to break into Hollywood like Charlize and District 9), animals, black helpers (see the picture below) and friendly news coverage.

Further Reading

Mobilizing in disorder

Post the looting and failed insurrection, what would it mean for the South African left to undertake a populist political strategy? And should it look to South America for inspiration? A long read.

Rage as love under duress

To riff off James Baldwin, there will be a fire next time in South Africa. The embers and kindling are in place. What matters is what South Africans do between this fire and the next.