Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Landmark Collection Of Powerful Field Recordings From Witch Camps In Ghana Released

The album was produced by GRAMMY Award-winning producer and author Ian Brennan.

Six Degrees Records is proud to announce a landmark new album from Witch Camp (Ghana); I've Forgotten Now Who I Used to Be released via Six Degrees Records on 12 March 2021. Produced by GRAMMY Award-winning producer and author Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Zomba Prison Project) in collaboration with his wife, Italian-Rwandan filmmaker, author, and photographer, Marilena Umuhoza Delli, whose idea it was to record the album inspired by her own upbringing.

Marilena says, "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."

I've Forgotten Now Who I Used to Be collects extraordinary field recordings made at Ghana's infamous "witch camps"; settlements where these women accused of witchcraft can find safety and community; these women persecuted as witches are often overwhelmed by mental health issues and physical illnesses, while others are shunned and ostracized as a ruse to steal their land after their husband's passing.

Marilena 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."

Recorded at multiple locations in Ghana, the songs featured on I've Forgotten Now Who I Used to Be 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 track "Hated Drove Me From My Home," from I've Forgotten Now Who I Used to Be is streaming now via YouTube.

Listen to "Hatred Drove Me From My Home" below.

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 Tanzania's 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 Ghana's witch camps.

Listen here:


Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

Related Articles View More Music Stories

More Hot Stories For You