The idea of tropicalism was to use cultural analysis to uncover what we and our places have in common with each other – the values of the tropics if you like. Through building linkages across the tropics, we can learn what works and adapt it to our places. The idea of the ‘tropics” was created … Continue reading tropical culture
For much of Robert Aldrich’s book Colonialism and Homosexuality, my main reaction was surprise at just how many of the famous people of the era of empire were apparently homosexual. From Rajah Brooke to Kitchener to W. Somerset Maugham, it’s clear that gay people as explorers, businessmen, writers and warriors made Britain’s Tropical empire in … Continue reading The Tropics and homosexual liberation
Tanzania is home of some of Africa’s greatest natural spectacles but it also feels, well, just that - a spectacle - its roads lined with German tourists in safari vehicles and its traditional African hospitality coming with a (large) price tag. You have to search harder for the magic here than elsewhere in Africa, but … Continue reading The Maasai Warrior and the Holy Mountain
I’ve banged on about Heart of Darkness (HoD) in this blog a fair bit. It’s not just me; it’s a story that gets referenced over and over in writing on the Tropics. Paul Theroux bangs on and on about it in Dark Star Safari (my recommendation – read Kapuscinski instead, he writes with more style) … Continue reading Bali Ha’i: The Other Tropical Archetype
I woke up at midnight to climb Mt Ijen to view its sulphur-fuming crater. It looked like hell painted in delf blue – the colour of the burning sulphur. In the distance, erupting Mt Ruang’s outline and column of smoke was cut black felt against a bright milky way, the column flickering red with larva … Continue reading 16 of July in Indonesia
Nothing is hotter in fashion right now than Tropical patterns, and now the Tropics appears to be taking over music as well. Tropical House is the latest musical genre that is all over the clubs, music festivals and radio. Never heard of it? Well, you’ve heard the songs, just look up a few of these … Continue reading Is Tropical House the sound of the Tropics?
Hope you've been enjoying the recent posts from tropicalista Nina. Here's a meme I created to capture the mood.
Part of the reason for keeing this blog is to uncover what the essence is or universal features of the Tropics are. The power of nature and colour has come up so far - but let's be more provocative - is madness also an inescapable part of the Tropics? The pre-eminent chronicler of the Tropics, Joseph … Continue reading Is madness part of the essence of the Tropics?
I interviewed tropicalista Rosa about living in Cambodia and Darwin and what the Tropics means to her, in order to start to discover - what defines the Tropics? When did you first move to the Tropics? I first moved to the Tropics to Cambodia in 2012 for work, I think that was my first taste … Continue reading What does the Tropics mean to you?
As the religious aspects of Christmas fade into the background over time the remaining, pagan European symbology becomes patently absurd, another way in which tropical citizens unthinkingly ape their temperate masters - fake snow in 30 degree heat; a santa costume unwearable without strong air conditioning; a tree from the sub-arctic recreated in plastic. In … Continue reading Tropical Alternatives to Christmas