Striving for Equity

Interview by Tim Leeson

with Zayaan Khan

Photography by Kent Andreasen

Cover of Issue #7

This article is part of Issue #7

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South African cultural practitioner, food activist and artist, Zayaan Khan collaborates with organisations working in land reform, agrarian transformation and food justice, looking to understand the socio-political contexts of present day crises and unhinge our dependency on neoliberalism, with Indigenous food reclamation at the heart of her activities.

She holds a National Diploma in landscape technology, a Bachelor of Technology in horticulture, and is working towards a PhD in environmental humanities at the University of Cape Town. She is the founder of the Seed Biblioteek, a seed library highlighting the story of seed, and with artist Heather Thompson created the Apocalypse Pantry, billed as “a survivor’s guide to happiness in the urban armageddon” for accessing food, medicine and good times in Cape Town.

Tim Leeson caught up with her following the launch of Before Simon’s Bay, a permanent marine and environment exhibition at the Simon’s Town Museum, for which Zayaan was a contributing artist. The focus of the exhibition, she says, is on life before colonisers invaded with force and fury, before major ecocide, before genocide; and aims to help uncover the trauma that’s been buried, that gets buried, and heal the land and her descendants.

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