Gorillas in our midst

The face of the giant animatronic
Kong from the upcoming King Kong
stage production. Photo: James Morgan
A new stage production of King Kong is to open June 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. Ted Gott and Kathryn Weir, authors of Gorilla, have written an engaging article on the history of the King Kong story, as well as the gorilla itself. Our relationship with the gorilla has always been uneasy: its close physical resemblance to us immediately made it a popular subject for scientists, writers, anthropologists and artists, but the animal also came to embody fears of sexuality, criminality, our own animal nature, and the subconscious mind.

The authors write: ‘Our own fascination with the gorilla, as cultural observers, stems from our shared love of art, cinema and literature – in all three, this primate has appeared repeatedly, often cast as enraged monster or villain. For human interaction with the gorilla, which began badly more than 2,000 years ago, has been tainted with all manner of prejudice against this remarkably human-like primate.’   

To read the full article click here.