From the AOI website:

"Sonic Residencies support art’s role in changing how and under what conditions knowledge is produced, communicated and archived in societies reflecting African worlds. Artists-in-Residence are encouraged to explore contemporary conceptual frameworks and histories of Pan-African thought, audio cultures, philosophies, and aesthetics."


“Under Khanstruction”

Zayaan Khan and Atiyyah Khan are two South African scholars and artists based in Cape Town, whose work explores various avenues of identity through music and food respectively. Their research interests gives prominence to Islamic heritage and culture. Their work is often site-specific and is approached with a DIY-ethic.

Khan & Khan are the inaugural Artists-in-Residence of the Africa Open Institute in Stellenbosch, they are inspired to occupying spaces in unusual and maverick ways. Their research will include but is not limited to, exploring ideas around Islamic roots and identity, Pan-Africanism, Arab Africa, Indigeneity, History, Memory, Mapping and the Politics of Shame. These ideas will be explored over the course of their residency, by digging into archives and researching various sources from sound studies to mapping techniques and recipes long forgotten.

Zayaan Khan was born into a Malay community in Walmer Estate, Cape Town, and Atiyyah Khan was born and raised in Actonville, the Indian township in Benoni, on the East Rand of Johannesburg. Their different cultural perspectives, religious upbringings and experiences have provided a solid foundation for their ten-year long friendship, remixing the challenges of their backgrounds with a sense of brazen humour, to articulate its uncertainties.

Zayaan works with land and food as a connector, and through storytelling, opens up ancient ways of knowing into further practicality.

Through the music collective Future Nostalgia, Atiyyah has zoned her creative focus on record-digging and collecting music from Africa, and re-shaping what we understand as ‘African Music’.

Together their interests collide in the practice of sharing ancient futures. Khan & Khan will work through mapping and sound to express the journeys of their ideas within this AOI Sonic Residency. Other themes for investigation include – land, death, roots, shame within a hyper-specific-locality. towards a repatriation of self, of land, of faith, of religion.


Atchar MixTapes are born of a sense of identity and wonder, a kind of excavation into collective memory within our family to uncover the favourite recipes of our ancestors, searching for a sense of this land through food, finding roots in recipes, like preserves and pickles, then fermenting them to bring them into indigeneity, finding new roots for future certainty.

Atchar MixTape // Mango was a journey into Atiyyah Khan’s vinyl collection, selecting tracks with elements of food or land in their composition, whether in the track title or album title or in an instrument used in the composition.

Atchar MixTape // Mango Tracklisting – selected from the vinyl collection of Atiyyah Khan

00:00 Shabaka and The Ancestors – “The Sea” (Wisdom of Elders)

09:43 Sinana Mbira Music – “Nhemamussa”

13:55 Nimco Jamaac – “Buuraha u dheer” (Sweet as Broken Dates: Lost Somali Tapes from the Horn of Africa)

19:32 Duke Lumumba – “Nsu Shiw” (Lumumba)

23:58 Kalyan – “Hello Africa” (Kalyan)

30:15 Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Yaad-e-Nabi Ka Gulshan Mehka (Best of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Qawwal and Party Volume One)

Using Format