A Colonial Scandal In The Heart Of Africa, The
Oup, African Studies
Hardcover, 2009, 9780199231218
AUD $39.05 ex, AUD $42.95 inc
Out of stock at: 18 May 2013 18:00
The Killer Trail tells the tale of a real life story of insane violence that eerily prefigures fictional accounts such as The Heart of Darkness. The Voulet-Chanoine mission left Dakar in 1898 for the centre of Africa & the region of Lake Chad with the aim of establishing effective borders between the French and British empires while ‘pacifying’ a notoriously belligerent region. The mission degenerated into an extraordinary display of colonial violence and cruelty, leaving a trail of pillage, murder & enslavement of the local inhabitants in its wake. A public outcry led Voulet & Chanoine to declare their independence from France, but their mad dreams of kingship were soon cut short when they fell prey to a mutiny among the African soldiers under their command. Taithe shows that this is not simply a tale of two deranged minds, but that the actions of Voulet & Chanoine simply took the violence of European colonialism to a logical extreme, while the way in which the whole affair was soon forgotten is highly revealing of western attitudes to imperial excess in Africa and elsewhere.
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