Say hi to Zayaan Khan. She’s from Cape Town and works to understand the nuances within food systems by exploring across interdisciplinary perspectives. Her work is embedded in land and food justice, from indigenous food reclamation to art as a tool for narrative, specifically to find ways to share stories of hope and struggle.
Q & A with Zayaan
Question: What’s your goal/vision for this conference?
Answer: I long to reach out to people of colour in food; I find the work I do to be lonely and sometimes it deals with grief. I am done with the colonial mentality and practice of “white righteousness” overriding and often stealing our work and cultures.
Question: Name one person in this broader industry whom you look up to or a person who you really admire and why.
Answer: My work is informed by many moments, people and intersections. For this I am inspired by the work of various organizations around the country such as African Centre for Biodiversity, the gracious food work of the District Six Homecoming Centre, the Food Politics and Cultures course at UWC, and my sister Leila Khan who is not in food but whose work ethos and style inspire my art and artistic practice.
Question: Fill in the following: Transformation in this industry (name your specific field or cause) will happen when….
Answer: Transformation will happen when we are able to work through our embedded traumas and create completely new systems of process and cultures of conformity. Transformation in spaces where it is most needed, such as in our inherited economic and education systems.
Question: What would you love people to know about you and your work?
Answer: My work comes with a lot of careful consideration from intersections such as politics, social justice, ecology, art, history, and always in process. It is working from a multi-disciplinary perspective as a tool for healing and inspiration and enacted in a multi-disciplinary method.