flamboyanterWe had a Danish fort on St. Thomas. It is still there, built on a low protrusion of rock where the coast dips its foot into the Bay, now rounded by later infill. The red distempered walls darken behind the flamboyants – red flowers -like dried blood next to fresh blood. Government officials with closed countenances move in and out through the gate, where armed police stand guard; the serious nature of the place is in stark contrast to the tourists’ carefree holiday mood in the surrounding Charlotte Amalie. Wherever you go the place will make you think of the old story. There are some varieties of the flamboyant that are always in flower. Is there also some blood here that never quite congeals?

Thorkild Hansen’s introduction to ’Slavernes Øer’, 1970.