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Grace Ndjako and Luc Marraffa were awarded the 2022 ASCA PhD fellowships. They were selected out of 412 applications.

Grâce Ndjako

Grâce Ndjako, Black disruption, white reinforcement

Supervisors: Yolande Jansen, Michiel Leezenberg

This project examines how ‘Black critique’ of coloniality has dealt and can deal with the ‘closing’ responses with which it is often met by ‘white critique’. It studies how Black critique, such as for example Patrice Lumumba’s famous anti-colonial speech from [30 June 1960, Kinshasa] at the day of independence in Congo, has been received in a number of different white and Black contexts across Africa, Europa and the Americas. The project specifically focuses on how Black critique of ‘closing’ white responses has been formulated so far and how it could be further articulated. Black critique has often been delved into by anti-colonial thinkers, but there hasn’t been a systematic study of it yet.

The project thus studies the racial dynamics between the sustained critiques of coloniality in Africana philosophy and the white reception of these critiques. In the concluding chapter of Les damnés de la terre, Frantz Fanon sets out the parameters of Black critique. He argues that the colonized should make a clean break with Europe to be able to think anew and .urges the colonized to rethink the human, to invent, to discover and to look outside of Europe. Negating the negation of colonialism for there to be a possibility of the new.

Luc Marraffa

Luc Marraffa, Interrupting Broadcasts|Broadcasting Interruptions: a study of subjectivation in colonial soundscapes

Supervisors: meLê Yamomo, Barbara Titus

“Hey, you there!” – this interpellation by a police officer, famously analyzed by Althusser, has spawned a plethora of academic concepts, only few of which focus on the sonic aspect of the interpellation. During my PhD at Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), I plan to build on my previous work in philosophy and musicology to approach interpellations as sonic acts, and examine their role in the formation of colonial subjectivities. I will research what the amplification and propagation of sonic acts does to subjectivities enlisted under the colonial project as agents of domination, and/or as indigenous elements, to be colonized. Analyzing the use of broadcasts in de/colonial struggles from French and Dutch (ex-)colonies from the 1940s onwards, my work asks how broadcasting practices, instrumental in colonial domination, can be – and have been – subverted as emancipatory tools?

I approach broadcasts, on public radio for example, as large scale, mass uses of sound and study the material culture that facilitates them. I center the technological practice of sound reproduction and amplification – the dissemination of which from the 1940s onwards coincides with the rise of decolonial movements – and explore its subversive potential: an interpellation being always already iterative, its mass scale reproduction puts additional strain on questions of authenticity and originality.