Grâce Ndjako, Master of Science in Political Science and a Master of Arts in Philosophy

I am an author and a philosopher. I started my academic career studying Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, here my main interest was Political Theory.  It is in Political Theory that I developed an affinity for more abstract thought, which is why I decided to pursue a Minor in philosophy. Upon obtaining my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science I left Amsterdam for Paris as I wanted to pursue philosophy. In Paris I enrolled at Paris IV Sorbonne and studied philosophy for an additional year.

I later returned back to Amsterdam and obtained my Master of Arts in Philosophy as well as a Master of Science degree in Political Science. Here I wrote my master thesis on African philosophy as I noticed that postcolonial thinkers such as V.Y. Mudimbe and Frantz Fanon have advocated to liberate African thought from the Western way of thinking, to ensure that an authentic African philosophy can arise. Fanon ends his book ‘Les Damnée De La Terre’ (1961) with the sentence: “Il faut faire peau neuve, developper une pensée neuve. However most of these thinkers were themselves heavily influenced by Western thinking, so I wrote my thesis about the conditions under which an authentic African thought can arise.

I have worked as a Teaching-Assistant in Non-Western Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, and have organized Masterclasses on African philosophy in cooperation with NiNsee (The National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy/ Het Nationaal Instituut Nederlands Slavernijverleden en Erfenis ). I am currently working with artist Patricia Kaersenhout, former NiNsee president Antoin Deul and Rosa ter Velde on a foundation which we’ve named ‘Black Renaissance’, in which our aim is to organize lectures, masterclasses and workshops on African and Afro-Caribbean philosophy.

My aim is to pursue a PhD in philosophy and to do more research on African Philosophy.