Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Chapter 3 engages with the interest of German linguists in secret languages, focusing on recordings of a Congolese drum language and a secret language from the Gold Coast of Africa. The chapter examines the cases of Stephan Bischoff and Albert Kudjabo. Bischoff was raised at a mission station, had migrated to Germany, was interned at the civilian camp in Ruhleben during World War I. He also worked as a language assistant at the University of Hamburg. On a recording he discusses the violence of colonial missions and the destruction of a shrine in Togo in 1913. Bischoff also impersonates the voice of a West African deity, an instance of the indexicality of voice in historical sound recordings. Kudjabo volunteered for the Belgian army and recorded drum language in a POW camp. He also delivered a short dialogue, which speaks of the destruction of livelihoods in his home region after the discovery of gold by the Belgian colonial regime. The chapter discusses both men’s decolonial critique, and other examples which so far have remained unheard. In Fragment V, Mamadou Gregoire from Benin criticises the practices of recruitment for the French army.

This content is only available as PDF.
You do not currently have access to this chapter.
Don't already have an account? Register
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal