La Piste Rouge

The South-East of Cameroon, a landlocked region mainly composed of tropical forests, was the scene of a forced exploitation of the local workforce organized by the big companies and the French colonial state. While the populations were forcibly sent to harvest rubber, to work as porters or to build the tracks that were essential to the exploitation of the region's natural resources, deputies and senators in France discussed at length a labor code for overseas populations.

By gathering interviews with inhabitants of the region and excerpts from the parliamentary debates of the time, Marie Voignier takes the pulse of this now forgotten history. The interviews, faithfully transcribed, give an account of the events as they were transmitted at the local level; stories crossed by the memory of the arrival of the Germans and then the French, of forced labor, of witchcraft and evangelization, of the UPC independence fighters in the 1960s. By creating the conditions for the existence of an impossible dialogue between two words, Marie Voignier gives back its political dimension to the form of writing in the face of official history.

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Marie Voignier (Préface de Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch)
Éditions B42
Supported by
CNAP (soutien aux galeries/ publication)
Date of publication
Number of pages
16.00 €