ISSN : 2266-6060

Cypher

Aix-en-Provence, January 2020

Some writings are not meant to be read, or rather they are written so that they cannot be read. The Ministry of Colonies in Paris wanted to communicate secretly with the Governor of Pondicherry, who was geographically isolated. Dependent on an Indian infrastructure, the telegraph, he had recourse to this writing of our childhood, the secret code, indecipherable to the transmitters and transparent to the recipient.
However, the latter had not only to possess the code, but also to annotate with a blue pen and calculate so that the numbers would be transformed into words, and the hidden meaning would become apparent.
Pondicherry has not been French for a long time, the senders, transmitters and receivers have also disappeared. In the digital age, we are just as incapable as the Indian government of that time of deciphering these numbers. And yet we read so much in this trace, an archive of a dissolved imperial world.