APRIL 13TH, 20:00 LAB 111




On the bird’s retina the world is starkly outlined. The immense height gives her perspective: everything seems to have a place, a direction, a predictability. Nevertheless, though she sees everything, everything escapes her all the same. She will never know what swarms and writhes underfoot. She looks, discerns, yet never approaches. For ages humans have longed after the bird’s flight, and for ages philosophers have sought the higher by escaping the lower. Yet the philosopher has misjudged, and in the thin, still air, lost his grip. The philosopher-bird does not fly; he flutters.

The time has come for the philosopher to land somewhere; time for her to take off her wings and burrow, wormlike, into the caked earth below. The worm, soft and hermaphroditic, tastes the distinctions that the bird only sees. She devours them, opens them, spits them back out and, under the surface and within the skin, she slithers through. She digs holes in the exterior, enters ruthlessly. This year you will not confront the predator, but the prey. Forget the raven – the worm is the true philosopher!

The worm makes its way where there is none yet. She stalks about the unknown, seeking to nourish her yet unfilled insides. No scrap or offal is too filthy for consumption; no thought too gruesome for absorption; no path too narrow for her to slither through its cracks. In the unbridled and unkempt earth she finds a home. Until one day she gets lost. A child’s hand digs her up, places her on the kitchen table in a strange house. The house is earthless, grubless, nigh unnavigable: she can’t find a way out, cannot find even a single opening in the laminate to wriggle through. What now? Now that she has been driven from her habitat? Now that she looks at the world through a double glazed window? Will she ever escape this cage?

But the worm is greedy. There is no boundary she has not yet crossed, and long ago, she used to writhe every single day with her intestine-like body through detritus in the hummus of lost meanings. Why should this paltry house be able to constrain her? She imbibes all that she sees and hears and smells and feels, and in her long, lithe body something begins to stir. She realizes that the world is pregnant with meanings; like weeping babes they are thrown. Yet as with all other things, a fate of decay awaits them too. Nothing remains upright forever, and even the walls of this house will eventually tear. Anfracted as the worm is in her aporia, she writhes between the rigid oppositions of the dwelling. There, near the hinges of the back door, she squeezes out, through the garden path, into the earth. One last time, she comes across the garden wall. Through dark and hidden tunnels she arrives at the other end, but she leaves a trace of her passage. Is she outside or in?

Furtively yet obstinately it imposes itself on her: the experience of obscuration, of dilution, of disintegration; of a collapse of what was once segregated by a wafer-thin line. The worm decomposes, sheds her cumbersome skin so that it may make way for the outside world to come crashing in. But will she truly reconcile with her new environment? Will she be receptive enough to take in her intruder? Or will inside and out in the end remain entrapped within the walls of her skin? On April 13th her naked wriggling will be probed.

Essay Contest

As with each year, DRIFT offers heretofore unknown and uncherished writers the chance to share their work with a large audience. DRIFT accomplished this by way of an essay contest. The writer of the best essay will win a lecture slot on the festival, a publication in philosophy magazine Cimédart, a publication on the website of deFusie and a year-long free subscription to De Groene Amsterdammer.
     Do you long for philosophical renown? If so, you are hereby cordially invited to expound your ideas regarding this year’s theme of Outside-In in writing. Please feel free to approach this theme in any way you see fit. Possible worlds, the transgressing of borders, dualism or the human intestinal system: it is up to you. The one restriction is formal: the philosophical essay is to be between 700 and 900 words in length.
     The jury, who is to cast their critical eye on your work will consist of two members of the DRIFT-collective, one editor from Cimédart and another editor from deFusie.

Submissions will be gladly accepted until March 30th, and will be accepted at either festivaldrift@gmail.com or:

Room 1.14,
Oude Turfmarkt 143
1012 GC Amsterdam




The Chinese contemporary poet (and one of the Menglong/Misty poets) Meng Lang wrote:
 “Poets hover within the blind spots of history. Someone with a historical point of view cannot see these sites. The existence of the blind spots of history has only be discovered by humanity in the 20th century. These sites have been discovered by the poets.[…] Poets are worried ‘from the inside’ and that’s how it should be.”

What are these “blind spots of history”? Why do they escape to anyone having a “historical” point of view? Why have these blind spots been only discovered in the 20th century? And by poets? Which poets, and what peculiar link do they have to history? Why poets may be said “worried from the inside”? What does this assertion allude to? Why should we conclude that it must be so, that it is even excellent that it be so. And finally what are the new crucial ideas about history, interiority and exteriority emerging from taking seriously Meng Lang’s thesis.

These are the questions I would like to discuss with Alessandro De Francesco, an Italian contemporary poet and friend of mine.

About Judith Balso:

“In this moment, first I read poets, I learn from poets. Poems constitute an immense reservoir for thinking, which has hardly been truly explored. My constant companions: Pessoa, Mandelstam, Pasolini, Dante, Stevens, Rimbaud, Leopardi, Aygi and, more recently Hölderlin. My next book: reading Hölderlin without Heidegger. Second, at the « Ecole des Actes » (founded in 2016 by the Théâtre de la Commune in Aubervilliers), I teach, and learn with, people coming from the whole world, those called «migrants »,
in fact just people living now among us.”

About Alessandro de Francesco:

Alessandro de Francesco (PhD, University of Paris-Sorbonne) is a poet, artist and essayist. He has been teaching at the European Graduate School, the École Normale Supérieure, the Sorbonne, the Bern University of the Arts, and elsewhere. His work was presented at: STEIM, Kelly Writers House at U-Penn, CUNY, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Centre Pompidou, MAMCS in Strasbourg, Kunsthalle Basel, etc. Among his recent books: Continuum. Writings on Poetry as Artistic Practice (Uitgeverij, 2015) and Remote Vision. Poetry 1999-2015 (Punctum Books, 2016). Upcoming projects: Gherdeina Biennial, Italy (opening June 23rd 2018). Website: www.alessandrodefrancesco.net


“Live in such a way so that when you die, people will cry for you.” Moral aphorisms of this sort, demarcating the art of living, are found plenty in medieval Muslim literature, particularly in wisdom compendiums and philosophical treatises. That theoretical and practical commitment to philosophical religion is the most apposite mode of living is well attested in Islamic studies and Arabic philosophy. The trajectories of righteous living were well known to Muslims of medieval times, as they are today. Central to good living was the art of cultivating piety and nurturing the soul. The most famous advocates of this ascetic modus vivendi were Muslims who belong to the Sufi tradition.

The comparison between Sufism and late Ancient philosophy,  particularly the type that developed in Alexandria in the 5th to 6th centuries AD, requires urgent attention. We’re at a time when, rightly or wrongly, the concept of ‘western civilisation’ is being re-imagined, re-conceptualised, and revised for the purposes of excluding and maligning non-Western thought and philosophies.

This presentation will address the pertinent topic of the art of living in medieval Muslim societies as well as highlighting the parallels between the prototypical modes of living in ancient ‘Western’ civilisations and those in Muslim societies. It was be shown that medieval Muslim thinkers were among the first to realise and enact the ‘Western’ ideal of living, long before the emergence of ‘modern’ Europe.


Waarover gaan we op dit nachtelijk uur nadenken? Rudolf Carnap, de grote logisch-positivist leerde van Ludwig Wittgenstein in Wenen (ergens rond 1930) dat je een onderscheid kunt maken tussen interne vragen en externe vragen. Interne vragen stel je binnen een systeem of denkkader, externe vragen gaan over het systeem. Externe vragen waren volgens Rudolf Carnap onzinnig, tenzij ze van louter pragmatische aard waren. ‘Waarom hebben we getallen nodig?’ was een heldere vraag, ‘Bestaan er getallen?’ was dat niet.  Ik behandel een vraag die de logicus Saul Kripke (ongetwijfeld de beste taalfilosoof van de twintigste eeuw) ooit gesteld heeft: kunnen we de vraag stellen waarom we logica nodig hebben? Is dit een zinvolle externe vraag? Ik zal laten zien dat het antwoord daarop negatief is. We kunnen logica (en bij uitbreiding rationaliteit) niet in vraag stellen. Als u deze lezing begrijpt, maakt u kennis met een eenvoudig transcendentaal argument dat u voor de rest van uw leven zult onthouden.

Over Filip Buekens:

Filip Buekens doceert analytische filosofie en logica aan de universiteit van Leuven en Tilburg University. Hij heeft belangstelling voor kritisch denken, het speuren naar onzin in de filosofie, en doet nu onderzoek naar de speltheoretische achtergronden van meningsverschillen. U kunt dus met gerust hart en geheven hoofd met hem van mening verschillen.


Conspiracy theories seem to be on the rise and also seem to play an increasing role in public political discourse. This development is problematic for a variety of reasons, most importantly because widespread belief in conspiracy theories will undermine central institutions of open societies. One of the central questions that will need to be answered here if we hope to find out why conspirational thought is recently gaining such support and to find out how to respond to it, is the following: what mindset leads to the belief in conspiracy theories? In this talk I want to explain how philosophy, and epistemology in particular is essential for understanding the phenomenon and for developing a strategy to deal with the harmful kind of conspirational thought.

About Daniel Cohnitz:

Daniel Cohnitz (born in 1974) holds the chair for theoretical philosophy at Utrecht University. Cohnitz studied philosophy, German literature and language, and history at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. In 2005 he defended his dissertation on Thought Experiments in Philosophy (Gedankenexperimente in der Philosophie) at Düsseldorf. His research interests include metaphilosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, language, mathematics, and logic, and related areas of philosophy and cognitive science. Daniel Cohnitz is also president of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy.

Critical Studies Sandberg x DRIFT: The Politics of Turning

“Depending on which way one turns, different worlds might come into view”, Sara Ahmed writes. In this event, students of the Critical Studies department of the Sandberg Instituut will explore the politics of turning. How does turning open up new horizons – and what is the loss involved in every turn? Where do we turn towards? These questions will provide a starting point for five different performative responses, which will consider the act of turning as central to the shaping of subjects but also the imagination of resistance through the production of new epistemologies.

Contributors: Callum Copley, Silke Xenia Juul, Nemo Koning, Asja Novak, Filippo Tocchi.

The Critical Studies department of the Sandberg Instituut brings together students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds around a common interest in politics and critical theory.


The ability to participate in moral practices presupposes what I call “moral certainty”. By “moral certainty” I do not mean the conviction that one’s own moral views are infallible, but the certainty with which morally competent agents act. This conception of moral certainty is inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s On Certainty. People who have developed a certain level of moral competence cannot reasonably doubt the moral rightness or wrongness of certain actions, institutions and practices. Moral certainty is thus in part the result of moral education. What does this mean for the possibility of resolving moral disagreements between people who have been socialised in very different social and cultural contexts? Do such disagreements reflect radically different moral certainties? I argue that the existence of moral certainty does not hinder cross-cultural moral dialogue, and that my view of moral certainty does not commit me to moral relativism.

About Julia Hermann:

Julia Hermann is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Philosophy and Religious studies at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. She is a member of the research programme “Evolutionary Ethics? The (Meta)-Ethical Implications of Evolutionary Explanations of Morality”, funded by the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO). She holds a PhD from the European University Institute. Prior to joining Utrecht University, Julia was lecturer in social philosophy at Maastricht University. In 2015, her book On Moral Certainty, Justification and Practice. A Wittgensteinian Perspective was published by Palgrave Macmillan. Other recent publications include “Possibilities of Moral Progress in the Face of Evolution” and “Sinnott-Armstrong’s Empirical Challenge to Moral Intuitionism: A Novel Critique” (both Ethical Theory and Moral Practice). Julia is an author of the blog “Justice Everywhere”.


Playing on the festival’s theme of “buitenstebinnen” or “outside-in”, I will invite the audience to think together with me about the question “what is it to know something?” Cognitive science and philosophy of mind like to portray knowing as something that doesn’t require much involvement of the heart. But I will explore the idea that knowing is, in a particular sense, loving, and that loving is, in a particular sense, knowing. Loving and knowing share the same fundamental tension of letting something be, without letting it go. Using everyday examples, I will explore how this tension animates our lives, never letting us go, and bringing the outside in and the inside out, in a continual, inescapable, wonderful and exasperating dialectic.

About Hanne De Jaegher:

Hanne De Jaegher, philosopher of mind and cognitive science, is fascinated by how we think, work and play (basically live and love) together. For studying our rich social lives, she ongoingly develops the enactive theory of intersubjectivity called participatory sense-making. Its concepts and empirical methods find application in autism research, therapeutic practices, education research, ethics, psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience. With Ezequiel Di Paolo and Elena Cuffari, she wrote Linguistic Bodies: The Continuity Between Life and Language (MIT Press, October 2018). Her doctorate is from the University of Sussex (2007), she has held various Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships, and is currently Ramón y Cajal Research Fellow at the IAS-Research Centre for Life, Mind and Society, University of the Basque Country, San Sebastián.


The body is only outside: exposed skin, network of sensitive receivers and transmitters. All on the outside and nothing like an “I” that would stand wrapped up inside. No ghost in the machine, nothing, the point without dimensions where “I” feel and feel myself feeling. The inside of the wrapping is still nothing but another outside, unwrapped differently, all in folds, reversion, convolution and adherences, all invaginations, heaps and conglomerations. (…)

That which comes out and that which enters, shit or thought, speech or saliva, excitement, excoriation, all go together with an outside the other, constant muttering and moving of the same whole which is in itself entirely outside of me. I remain the intimate zero point of a mind nowhere located in this entanglement that is blurred with pulps, tissues and fluids and that gives rise to this soul that we should conceive of as spread out all along the vessels and the integuments, knotted in lymph nodes and soaked with plasma.

About Jean-Luc Nancy: 

Je travaille au dedans et au dehors. En sortant et en entrant.  Par toutes les issues ou les accès que je rencontre. Comme je peux. Mais sans cesse.

Due to railway strikes in France, Jean-Luc Nancy will not be able to attend the festival in person. Het will give his lecture through skype.


Right-wing, fascist and alt-right thinkers believe themselves to be occupying the position of the ‘Outside’. Unlike the mid-twentieth century interest in the absurd, alienation and other existential themes, this current crop of thinkers, among whom, Nick Land, attempt to imagine a site beyond the supposed liberal hegemony of the ‘Cathedral’. This talk will attempt to analyse the political foundations of this position and locate it within various strands of contemporary nihilism. Against the image of the ‘outside’ and the ‘inside’ will be posited a ‘negative internationalism’ that seeks to abolish both capitalism and borders.  

About Nina Power:

Nina Power is a cultural critic, social theorist and a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Roehampton, London. She is the author of One Dimensional Woman and has written widely on feminism, activism, and structures of labour and care. Her work has been published in magazines and newspapers like The Wire, frieze and The Guardian.


Een lezing over de ziel, die het meest innerlijk van alles lijkt te zijn. Toch kan diezelfde ziel buiten zichzelf geraken in de toestanden van  verliefdheid of extase. Misschien kan de ziel alleen maar toegang krijgen tot haar ‘binnen’ als ze ook is aangesloten op iets dat compleet anders is. Dit inzicht is al te vinden bij Plato. Het lijkt een paradox: binnen is pas echt binnen als het in contact staat met ‘buiten’.  Wat is dat ‘buiten’, wat is de realiteit ervan en hoe kunnen we er contact mee maken?

In deze lezing werk ik een visie uit op het binnenstebuiten gekeerde subject.  Ik laat me inspireren door Kierkegaard die schreef over Abraham als een religieuze held met communicatieproblemen. En door  Levinas’ visie op het subject als plaatsvervanging: voor-de-ander bestaan, als een bevrijding van de ziel van zichzelf.

Over Renée van Riessen:

Renée van Riessen is filosoof en dichter. Ze doceert godsdienstfilosofie in Groningen (PThU) en christelijke filosofie aan de Universiteit Leiden. Ze is auteur van (o.a.) De ziel opnieuw. Over innerlijkheid, inspiratie en onderwijs (Sjibbolet, Amsterdam 2013). In 2018 verschijnt haar boek over Levinas’ theorie van de bevrijding:  Van zichzelf bevrijd. Levinas over het raadsel van de nabijheid (eveneens bij Uitgeverij Sjibbolet)   


Ieder bewust proces in mijn hoofd is op een diepe manier ‘van mij’—alleen ik denk mijn gedachten en ervaar mijn ervaringen. Maar wie of wat is dat ‘ik’? Hoe kan het dat die altijd dezelfde is? En hoe kunnen we dat eigenlijk weten? Om deze onbeantwoordbare vragen te vermijden wil ik voorstellen om het ‘van mij’ karakter van onze ervaringen niet in termen van een ‘ik’ te begrijpen: een waarneming of gedachte is ‘van mij’ als deze ‘logisch’ volgt op eerdere waarnemingen/gedachten en past tussen de andere ervaringen; d.w.z. als het een onderdeel is van een ‘belichaamde biografie’. Hedendaagse neurowetenschap laat zien dat we dat soort coherentie eigenlijk niet opmerken. Het ‘van mij’ karakter van mijn ervaringen is dan eigenlijk niets anders dan het ontbreken van schrik of verbazing bij elke gedachte of ervaring die we hebben. Ik zal betogen dat deze theorie meer recht doet aan onze ervaring dan theorieën die uitgaan van een mysterieus ‘ik’. Bovendien kan het bepaalde psychiatrische aandoeningen beter uitleggen.

Over Marc Slors:

Marc Slors schreef zijn proefschrift in Utrecht en Chicago onder supervisie van Marya Schechtman. Na zijn PhD was hij postdoc in Canberra (ANU) en KNAW Fellow in Nijmegen. Vanaf 2005 is hij hoogleraar cognitiefilosofie en vanaf 2012 hoofd van de sectie Filosofie van Cognitie en Taal aan de Radboud Universiteit. Hij publiceert vooral over persoonlijke identiteit, bewustzijn, vrije wil en sociale cognitie.


What does it mean to decolonize critical thought? The Western tradition of critical thought has been very rich in its diagnosis of the ways in which hegemonic power operates; however its reflexivity has remained largely intra-modern. Western critical thought has functioned to reinforce modernity (with all its internal variations and contestations) as the total horizon of intelligibility. Decolonial critical thought enacts a different movement of critique. Decolonial critical thought stems from the awareness of an outside of modernity. It does not speak of a pure or uncontaminated outside of modernity, it rather recognizes the validity of non-western geo-genealogies of thought. Decolonial critical thought is engaged in a border thinking that listens to the experience and trajectories of the outside of modernity. It works towards epistemic justice by engaging the task of humbling modernity and enabling the possibility of listening to its outside.

About Rolando Vázquez

Rolando Vázquez is associate professor of Sociology at University College Roosevelt and affiliated researcher at the research institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON) at the University of Utrecht. He co-coordinates the Decolonial Summer School at UCR since 2010. With Gloria Wekker et al he wrote the report for the Diversity Commission of the University of Amsterdam. Through his work he seeks to develop practices of thinking and learning that transgress the dominant frameworks of contemporaneity, heteronormativity and coloniality. His research on the question of precedence and relational temporalities seeks to overcome the western critique of modernity and contribute to the ongoing efforts to decolonize knowledge, aesthetics and subjectivity.



Pregnancy is both common and unique. Each of us began life through a pregnancy. Several hundred million women worldwide are likely to be pregnant at any one time. Nonetheless, pregnancy is dramatically different from any other thing that humans do. It is difficult, if not impossible, to understand what it is like to be pregnant without being pregnant. The foetus and the maternal organism are physically and morally intertwined. Because of this, many of our ordinary ethical concepts, like informed consent, the difference between doing and allowing, and self-ownership, do not apply well to pregnancy. This raises important philosophical questions not just about how we should treat pregnant women, but about how we should understand what it is to be human.

Dr Fiona Woollard is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southampton. Fiona’s main current research is in the Philosophy of Pregnancy, Birth and Early Motherhood. Fiona shows that pregnancy, birth and early motherhood can challenge traditional ways of thinking about morality and knowledge. Fiona also identifies ways in which philosophical mistakes in our thinking about motherhood can influence the treatment of pregnant women and mothers, often leading to harmful consequences for these vulnerable groups. Fiona is working with parental support organisations, parent groups, health professionals and MPs to combat guilt and shame surrounding infant feeding decisions.

Teresa Baron is a PhD student with the Better Understanding the Metaphysics of Pregnancy (BUMP) Research Group at the University of Southampton. She is working on an investigation of various philosophical conceptions of parenthood, bodily autonomy and bodily part-whole relations, and of how the process of carrying a foetus fits into these ideas.

Rodante van der Waal is finishing her Research Master Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and studies midwifery at the Midwifery Academy of Amsterdam. In her studies, she focuses mostly on the topics of fertility, pregnancy, birth-giving and early motherhood through postmodern French thought, post-humanism and feminism. In her papers and writings she tries to think the themes of pregnancy and giving birth from a theoretical as well as a more intimate, or poetical, perspective.

↓ Timetable

Staircase lectures:


Economische wetenschap gaat over menselijk handelen en veronderstelt dus een economisch subject. Pogingen om een dergelijk subject te conceptualiseren bevinden zich op het snijvlak van economie en filosofie. Het is een filosoof, John Stuart Mill, die het begrip van de homo economicus heeft geïntroduceerd: de mens als calculerend en eigenbelang optimaliserend wezen. In The Knowledge We Have Lost In Information stelt Philip Mirowski dat ontwikkelingen in de twintigste eeuwse economische wetenschap gepaard gaan met de dood van het Kantiaanse subject.

De vreemde eisen die economische wetenschap stelt aan menselijke subjectiviteit zijn echter niet volledig te vatten aan de hand van het begrip van de homo economicus, en al helemaal niet aan de hand van Kant. Een geschikter filosofisch uitgangspunt is de Monadologie van Leibniz. De monaden zijn als ‘vrije’ economische subjecten, die zichzelf op onafhankelijke wijze aansturen maar toch zijn gebonden aan een totaliteit die is geordend door de onzichtbare hand van God. Ze hebben geen kennis van een wereld buiten zich, maar begrijpen de wereld aan de hand van informatie die binnen in hen is opgeslagen. Voor het kwaad is geen plaats en evenmin voor inefficiëntie: zolang God ofwel de markt zijn calculerende werk kan doen leven we in de beste van alle mogelijke werelden.

Over Bauke Kok:

Bauke Kok studeert economie en doet de onderzoeksmaster filosofie aan de universiteit van Amsterdam. Hij specialiseert zich in wetenschapsfilosofie waarbij hij zich met name richt op economie.


Engagement en persoonlijke expressie worden in de kunst, literatuur en poëzie vaak als elkaar uitsluitende terreinen gezien. Maar zoals het hedendaagse feminisme beweert, is het persoonlijke politiek en het politieke persoonlijk. Feministische theorist en literatuurwetenschapper Hélène Cixous schreef dat een vrouwelijke tekst er niet in kan falen méér dan subversief te zijn; het is vulkanisch. “Zodra zij eenmaal haar spoor bazuint, zal zij erin slagen van het ‘persoonlijke’ een chaosmos te maken.” In haar korte traplezing gaat Levina van der Maas aan de hand van verschillende postmoderne denkers op zoek naar hoe life-writing, het alledaagse, de allerindividueelste expressie van de allerindividueelste emotie – subversief, nee zelfs explosief zou kunnen zijn in het huidige politieke klimaat.

Over Levina van der Maas:
Levina van der Maas (1994) studeerde wijsbegeerte met een focus op kritische theorie, postmodernisme en politieke/feministische theorie. Van beroep is zij grafisch ontwerper. Daarnaast schrijft ze gedichten, zingt ze liederen, en is ze van mening het kapitalistische bureaucratische neo-koloniale cishetero-patriarchaat verwoest moet worden.

In ‘Peau noire Masques blancs’ beschrijft Fanon de geleefde ervaring van zwarte mensen; “Déjà les regards blancs, les seuls vrais, me dissèquent. Je suis fixé”. Steeds zijn ze onderworpen aan de ‘white gaze’ die hun ontleedt en fixeert. Steeds door de ander worden gezien en van buitenaf door de ander worden gedetermineerd. Daarbij stelt deze ander dat je niet in staat bent zelf tot het vormen van abstracte ideëen. Met Westerse denken dat zijn invloed sterk heeft doen gelden op de Afrikaanse cultuur, en het Afrikaanse denken, blijft de zwarte Afrikaan zichzelf door de ogen van het Westen zien en ervaart zichzelf als Ander. Hoe kan men zich hieraan onttrekken? Hoe wenden we die blik van buiten af?

Over Grâce Ndjako:

Filosoof en politicoloog Grâce Ndjako voltooide de MA Filosofie van een Bepaald Wetenschapsgebied aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Ze is teaching-assistant niet-Westerse filosofie aan de UvA. In samenwerking met het NiNsee heeft ze het afgelopen jaar lezingen en Masterclasses Afrikaanse filosofie georganiseerd. Tijdens haar studie heeft zij zich vooral bezig gehouden met postkoloniale kwesties, waaronder benaderingen van het Afrikaanse lichaam. Haar scriptie betreft de vraag in hoeverre een ‘Afrikaanse filosofie’ kan bestaan en los staat van westerse filosofie.  


ABINTU is een afro-jazz georiënteerde band, opgericht door de tweelingbroers Aaron en Thomas Hanenberg. De composities zijn vaak geïnspireerd door Surinaamse thema’s en vertellen verhalen. Sommige vertellen bijvoorbeeld over bosgeesten uit de Winti-cultuur en andere gaan over Surinaamse Oddo’s (spreekwoorden/wijsheden).

Hoewel ze normaal gesproken met volledige band optreden wordt ABINTU voor deze gelegenheid vertegenwoordigd door een intiemere bezetting. Als gitaar/piano-duo zullen zij een greep uit eigen repertoire laten horen, gemixt met andere stukken die hen aan het hart gaan. Inspiratiebronnen zijn grootheden als Lionel Loueke, Jeff Ballard en Gretchen Parlato.

Maan Jitski (1995) is een Amsterdamse multi-instrumentalist en zanger(es). Ze haalt haar inspiratie uit New Wave droefenis, meerstemmige jeugdherinneringen en R&B- girlpower uit de jaren ’90. Deze combinatie resulteert in zelf gecomponeerde en zelf uitgevoerde liedjes, op het snijvlak van digitale en analoge muziek. Middels deze liedjes omarmt ze eenzaamheid, liefdesverdriet en een nieuwe lentes.

Barry Slee (1990, Den Haag) leeft muziek. Sterker nog: hij is het. Desgevraagd zou je zijn uitstraling en stem warm en innemend kunnen noemen. Met zijn zelfvervaardigde orkestbanden op zak trekt hij door het land om te zingen over uit het leven gegrepen zaken zoals relaties. Niet lang geleden kwam de eerste single van Slee, ‘Is Het Nu Over’ uit in eigen beheer. Ter promotie hiervan zal hij een aantal optredens geven in Nederland en ook Drift aandoen.

Kom uit je hoofd en in je lijf door Josephine’s eclectische mix van minimal wave tot dub en alles daar tussen in. 

An awful underrepresentation of women in the musical industry led to anger between feminist party lovers. Men, with their legs spread so wide you could hardly take place beside them, would say ‘Don’t be irked.’ Two women decided not to listen and emancipated – threw their own party. Their library-spent evenings got replaced for club-spent nights. Their anger made them plump and their plumpness made them seethe. The songs they played became more and more anti-patriarchal and still, they only play songs made by women. It’s your DJ-dyad Bol & Boos that celebrates the emancipation of women and makes sure this emancipation will be a celebration.

Visual arts:

This year all art exhibited at DRIFT is produced by Outsider Artists connected to the Outsider Art Gallery in Amsterdam and Atelier de Herenplaats in Rotterdam.

The artists of the Outsider Art Gallery are often somewhat ‘different’. Some have an intellectual disability, or a psychological disorder. They don’t aim to make commercial work, nor do they reflect on existing art movements.



Lauritz Meier Andersen occupies himself with drawing as a visual exploration of following one’s intuition and working with the materiality of paper. He is also a singer-songwriter dealing with the limits of human nature. At DRIFT he will be giving festivalgoers temporary tattoos limited to a bic four colour pen. Suggestions are welcome but there cannot be agreed on a final result before hand. The tattoo service will be free of charge and disappear after you wash your body (and hangover) the next day.  Step up and get bic’ed!


This work is a queer appropriation of Bruce Nauman’s video work ‘Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square’. Mezhgan Saleh uses the simple frame of the square and their exaggerated movements as a mode of concentration from which they investigate the constructedness of identities and the celebrational and resilient attitude of queer performativities. Through the performance Saleh tries to understand their fag self. What are the gestures of this fag self? And which fag form arises while exhausting the square structure? The mode of exaggeration is not merely a physical one, but a mode in which subjectivities are highlighted in such a way that the constructedness of identities become bare and crumble in front of our eyes.

About Mezhgan Saleh:

Mezhgan Saleh is a non-binary artist of color who believes in radical care and revolt through pleasure activism. They were born in Afghanistan and came to the Netherlands in their early teens. Since they have been violently re-moved a multiple times, their work deals with issues of displacement, the refuge and rehearsing embodied identities in order to re-think and re-live other(ed) possibilities. With a bachelor in Literary Studies and Cultural Analysis at the UvA in Amsterdam, they are currently studying Choreography at the School for New Development (SNDO) in Amsterdam. If there’s a good tune, you can probably find them on the dance floor!


DRIFT presenteert in samenwerking met podium voor poëzie en experiment Perdu een poëzieprogramma dat onder de huid kruipt, zich tussen spleten en kieren wurmt en aan de oppervlakte borrelt. Poëzie als binnenplaats van waaruit we de Ander tegemoet kunnen treden. Poëzie als habitus waarin we positionering kunnen bevragen. Poëzie als grensgebied waar we verkennend doorheen kunnen bewegen.

Met voordrachten van  Joost Baars, Radna Fabias, Asha Karami en Nguyễn Thị Mai en Martje Wijers.

Over de dichters:

Joost Baars (1975) is dichter, essayist en boekverkoper. Zijn debuutbundel Binnenplaats verscheen in 2017 bij Uitgeverij Van Oorschot en werd bekroond met de VSB Poëzieprijs 2018. Uit het juryrapport: ‘Baars’ universum stoort zich niet aan de grenzen tussen populaire cultuur en filosofie. Zijn poëzie laat zien hoe religie de hele cultuur doordrenkt maar hij doorbreekt met zijn werk al die polarisaties die een geseculariseerde samenleving kenmerken.’

Radna Fabias (1983) won eerder de poëzieprijs van de stad Oostende. In februari debuteerde ze als dichter met de bundel Habitus bij uitgeverij De Arbeiderspers. Recensent Janita Monna schreef in Trouw over Habitus: Fabias kruipt diep onder de huid. Scherp en zinnelijk pelt ze af, laat vlees zien en spieren en angst en sensualiteit.’

Asha Karami is dichter en woont in Amsterdam. Ze debuteerde met zeven gedichten in nY (#35) en met vier gedichten in de Poëziekrant (5/2017). Naast het schrijven werkt ze als jeugdarts, ringarts bij vechtsportgala’s en yogadocent. Asha won de jaarfinale van de Festina Lente Poëzieslag 2017 en werd tweede tijdens de NK poetry slam 2018.

Nguyễn Thị Mai (1992) is een Vietnamese dichter. Ze studeerde filosofie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Haar Nederlandstalige debuut, een reeks prozagedichten met de titel “het juiste aandeel ultraviolet,” verscheen in het najaar van 2017 in literair tijdschrift nY.

Martje Wijers (1986) schrijft gedichten, treedt op en slamt. Ze stond twee jaar op rij in de finale van het NK poetry slam (2017 en 2018). Martje woont afwisselend in Amsterdam en Gent, waar ze werkt als docent Zweedse taalkunde en schrijft aan een proefschrift in de taalwetenschap. Daarnaast is ze één van de zes bedenkers van de Facebook-pagina Dilemma op Dinsdag, waarop wekelijks mensen worden gepijnigd met een absurd dilemma.


DRIFT utilizes different prices for tickets.
The regular tariff is € 12,50 presale and € 15,- at the door. Students pay € 10,- during the presale and € 12,50 at the door. Additionally, you may buy a support ticket for € 20,- if you have a fuller wallet and you are feeling generous, yet do not wish to become a friend. If, on the other hand, you have a bit less to spend, we offer a limited amount of accessibility tickets for € 6,- each. There are no formal requirements for buying an accessibility ticket. However, there are only 50 accessibility tickets availiable. If you cannot afford to attend the festival otherwise, you may make use of the opportunity. We trust that the more financially fortunate among us will not abuse this system. If it is not possible for you to use the iDeal payment service, send us an email about it at festivaldrift@gmail.com. Once you have paid your ticket, we will make sure that you are on the guest list. We would also like to note to those with limited mobility: you can bring a personal care assistant. If you choose to do so, kindly let us know at festivaldrift@gmail.com.
     Furthermore, let us know if you have problems hearing, and if as a result you would like for there to be a sign language interpreter. If multiple people let us know on March 28th at the latest, we will be able to ensure the presence of a shared interpreter.

Other than buying a ticket, you may also take this opportunity to purchase the publication of the DRIFT 2017 lectures for a mere € 10. If you do so, you will receive it during the coming festival.

Become a friend of DRIFT

In addition to becoming a guest of DRIFT, you now may also become a friend. By becoming a friend you support DRIFT and ensure that DRIFT has the resources to organize a successful festival each year.
     In exchange for your support and friendship, you stand to receive two entry tickets a year for our festival. In addition, we will send you all sorts of extra’s by post. Most importantly, however, is that we will also be your friend, and that we will be forever grateful for your support. You may become a friend of DRIFT for € 40,- a year. As soon as our friendship becomes official, the sum will be debited from your account yearly until you let us know you’d like to part ways. You may also choose to make a larger contribution. You will find this option in the form below, where you are also invited to fill in your basic information.


They have returned, freshly printed: the DRIFT-bags. This year the Low Land’s finest Philosophical fashion statement can be worn over the shoulder as well as on the back. What’s more, their size has been chosen with such loving care that they have proven able to contain a copy of Sein und Zeit as well as the head of an anonymous PhD-student. With this annually changing accessory you can exhibit your identity as a hip DRIFT-regular to the world. Besides this function, they are also quite useful, as they are stronger than they look, and most of all a pretty reminder of an interesting night.

Do you want to stroll around and show off with your DRIFT-bag? Don’t miss out on the craze! For a meager 5,- you could be in the possession of your very own DRIFT-bag. To purchase a bag, send a mail with your info to: festivaldrift@gmail.com


Have you missed out on (parts of) a lecture or debate? Not to worry: since 2013, DRIFT has been making and publishing a publication in which all lectures and debates are incorporated as transcriptions.
Click the links below to download them as free e-books; should you like a printed edition, please feel free to contact us at festivaldrift@gmail.com.

DRIFT 2013: De dingen de baas
DRIFT 2014: Onder invloed
DRIFT 2015: De chaos tegemoet
DRIFT 2016: In staat tot natuur (Coming soon)
DRIFT 2017: Het vlees is zwak (Coming soon)


Since 2006 a group of philosophy students from the University of Amsterdam has set out yearly to organize Philosophical Festival DRIFT. The foundation of DRIFT arose from a dissatisfaction with the quality of the available philosophical festivals. But this is merely the concrete motive for DRIFT’s foundation; something else lies at the foundation of the festival: namely, the love for philosophy and a wish to share this love with others.
         DRIFT aims to make good academic philosophy accessible for as many interested as possible. Because the festival offers philosophical academics from in- as well as outside the country a platform, DRIFT is a space that represents current developments in philosophy accurately. Guest are invited to make the acquaintance of theories and thinkers they might not quickly come into contact with otherwise. DRIFT embodies a unique combination of philosophy and culture. Because lectures and debates, as well as poetry, prose, music, theatre, and visual arts are programmed, an interplay occurs between philosophical theory and artistic expression, as a result of which the boundaries of philosophy are sought out.
         At the festival renowned names engage in debate with young up-and-coming talent. There is room for complex, specialized and sophisticated philosophy, but also for letting loose on the dance-floor. Each year philosophy students are invited as staircase-lecturers to propose their worldview and to show the contemporary philosophical climate. Philosophical Festival DRIFT is a connection liaison between qualitatively high-standing philosophy and a multiplicity of arts. The guest is flung to and fro between theories, conversations, arts and impressions. The public becomes adrift, is caught up in a drift, of new ideas. 

Collective '18

Marie van Haaster
Daan Doeleman
David Kleinsteuber
Bobby Uilen
Dagmar Bosma
Esha Guy
Eva Witteman

& Sponsors

Amsterdams Universiteitsfonds
Departement Wijsbegeerte UvA
Studievereniging AmFiBi
Institut Français des Pays-Bas

Graphic Design

Festival address (LAB111):

Arie Biemondstraat 111
1054 PD Amsterdam

Postal address:

Stichting Wijsgerig Festival DRIFT
Oude Turfmarkt 143, kamer 1.14
1012 GC Amsterdam