Grâce Ndjako, PhD-candidate in Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam.
I am a philosopher, author and translator. 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-Sorbonne University 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 work as a Teaching-Assistant in Non-Western Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, I also co-founded a foundation called Black Renaissance along with artist Patricia Kaersenhout, former NiNsee president Antoin Deul and Rosa ter Velde, our aim is to organize lectures, masterclasses and workshops on Decoloniality, African and Afro-Caribbean philosophy.
I also write for publications such as Dipsaus Podcast, de Nederlandse Boekengids and Hard//Hoofd. One of my short stories was published in the book ‘AfroLit: Moderne literatuur uit de Afrikaanse Diaspora’ which was edited by Dalila Hermans and Ebissé Rouw and was published by Dipsaus Podcast and Uitgeverij Pluim.
I am currently working on a Dutch translation of Aimé Césaire’s ‘Discours sur le colonialisme’, which will come out next year with Uitgeverij de Geus.
I am also currently working on obtaining my PhD at the University of Amsterdam.