I've Forgotten Now Who I Used To Be by Witch Camp on Six Degrees Records (the album artwork is a colour photograph of a woman in a red shawl and white dress with a blue floral pattern stood looking down at the camera infront of a small round blue builing with a straw roof and a cloudless sky; the artist name and album title are printed in bold green text against the sky on either side of the woman's head)

Witch Camp - I've Forgotten Now Who I Used To Be

SIX DEGREES RECORDS

  • £17.99

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EXPECTED RELEASE DATE: FRIDAY 17TH DECEMBER 2021 (SUBJECT TO CHANGE) 

 

Produced by Marilena Umuhoza Delli and Ian Brennan, I've Forgotten Now Who I Used to Be is a landmark album of extraordinary recordings made at Ghana's infamous witch camps, settlements where women accused of witchcraft can find safety and community.

Recorded at multiple locations in Ghana, the songs featured on the album are largely instant compositions, created using all and any objects from the immediate environment for instrumentation; corn husks, a teapot, tin cans, tree branches, and even a balloon left over from the political rally. Over six hours of music was recorded in 100 clandestine gatherings from across three villages, with all but one person singing solo for the first time. Sung in regional dialect or the lesser-spoken languages of Mampruli and Dagbani, the lyrics are untranslated and indecipherable even too many locals as they are not in the dominant languages of English or Akan. 

The idea to record the album was inspired by Umuhoza Delli's own upbringing. "My own mother is a disabled widow from Rwanda, and is the same age as most of these women we met at the Witch Camps. We grew up poor, living in a factory. It is impossible for me to look at these women's circumstance and not see my own mother and an inhumane fate that, but for a matter of geography, could as well have been hers. It is impossible to think that this practice continues in the 21st century..." 

These women, persecuted as witches, are often overwhelmed by mental health issues and physical illnesses, while others are shunned and ostracised as a ruse to steal their land after their husbands passing. Unuhoza Delli says "belief in witchcraft is sometimes used as simple scapegoating for the arrival of bad luck such as foul weather or illness. More commonly, it is a justification for pre-existing hate and prejudice. A member of my own family was driven out of her village in Malawi as a child after she was accused of being a witch due to having a white father a fate that could have been my own if our places of birth were simply swapped..."

Marilena Umuhoza Delli and Ian Brennan have dedicated their lives and careers to providing a platform for the censored or unheard, spanning those targeted for albinism on Tanzanias Ukerewe Island and genocide survivors in both Rwanda and Cambodia, to the homeless community in Oakland, CA, prisoners at Zomba Prison in Malawi, and now, the women of Ghanas witch camps. 

 

"It is music with no ulterior motive. Song collectors’ obsession with undiluted authenticity (often equated with suffering) has always been problematic in the wrong hands but Brennan and Umuhoza are respectful listeners. Plunging you into lives unimaginably different from your own, I’ve Forgotten Now Who I Used to Be invites you not just to empathise with the women’s surreal plight but to marvel at their ingenuity" - The Guardian 

 

TRACKLIST: 
    1. I Must Build A New Home 
    2. Hatred Drove Me From My Home 
    3. Wizard Drum 
    4. Protection 
    5. Witch Song 
    6. I Am A Beggar For A Home 
    7. Only God Can Judge Me 
    8. I Was Accused 
    9. Everywhere I Turn, There Is Pain 
    10. Hunted 
    11. We Are No Different Than You 
    12. Love 
    13. I Have Lost All That I Love 
    14. When I Was Ill, You Didnt Come To Visit Me 
    15. Love, Please 
    16. Abandoned (Forced Into A Life Of Prostitution) 
    17. If The River Runs Dry, The Canoe Cannot Rise 
    18. I Trusted My Family, They Betrayed Me 
    19. There Are No Promises In This World 
    20. Left To Live Like An Animal 

 


 

 

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