Atiyyah Khan is a Journalist, Arts Writer, Selector, Crate-digger, Event Organiser, Researcher and Archivist from Johannesburg, now based in Cape Town. Since 2008, she has been documenting visual arts, theatre, music, film and other forms of culture in South Africa. Her writing has been published in newspapers across the country as well as internationally.

As selector El Corazon she spins records as a way to communicate through sound. Her sets explore music unbounded, and music as transcontinental form and connection. El Corazon evokes curiosity in the possibility of horizons of sound. Atiyyah Khan started collecting records more seriously when co-founding music collective Future Nostalgia in 2013. The collective is a platform to bring ‘collectors, selectors, deejays, and diggers’ together and hosts regular vinyl listening sessions around Cape Town. Her sets explore various sounds including dub, cumbia, jazz, funk and music from the continent. Over the last five years, Future Nostalgia has established its name playing gigs all over the city from small underground events to large scale festivals.

In December 2017, Atiyyah took on the role of sound artist working with the afro-futurist Zimbabwean dancer-choreographer, Nora Chipaumire. Their work is titled 100%POP and will premier in New York in October 2018. The performance involves creating a live sound-clash, by layering sounds using turntables and digital sources drawing from various music references, with Grace Jones as a jump-off point and incorporating sounds of dub, Thomas Mapfumo and noise music.

“Under Khanstruction”

Atiyyah Khan and Zayaan 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.

Atiyyah Khan was born and raised in Actonville, the Indian township in Benoni, on the East Rand of Johannesburg, and Zayaan Khan was born into a Malay community in Walmer Estate, Cape Town. 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.


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

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.

This Residency will culminate in an event in February 2019 where their findings will be shared in a multi-sensory experience in order to create a space of convivial sharing, listening, feeling and knowing.

Atiyyah Khan