Welcome to the Anthropology Department
Welcome to the University of the Western Cape

Seminar: Zayaan Khan — Wednesday 14 August

 From seeds-as-object to seeds-as-relation; seeing seeds through neoliberal othering 

 by Zayaan Khan

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Anthropology Lab, h00-14h20


This research uses seed bill hearings and policy readings of the Plant Breeders Rights Act and the Plant Improvement Act to understand government and corporate views through interviews and parliamentary debates. These systems of power, the legal recognition of seed, create a specific way of knowing and ultimately influences our cultural relation to seed. The research explores Seed as Power, Seed as Commons and Seed as Story to investigate how to reclaim seed from the systems of power and strengthen its development within the urban environment. 


Zayaan is from Cape Town and works to understand nuances within food systems by navigating them from an interdisciplinary perspective. Her research 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, both of struggle and solution.