Gulshan Khan is a South African photojournalist and visual artist.
Her work traverses the multiple layers of identity, humanity, memory, transition, belonging; justice and the dignity of people.
She is inspired by the concept of healing through story-telling. Gulshan believes that her work needs to be reflective of the people and the times, in both private and public, as well as institutional spaces, so that we no longer suffer the erasure and blindness of representation inflicted on us by our oppressive pasts or the present. Through such considerations, she hopes that we can build a more just and equal world. These are the themes which continue to direct her visual reflections of the human condition and the world around her.
Gulshan is a National Geographic Explorer, a 2022 FOAM Paul Huf Award Nominee, the recipient of the 2020 HIPA Emerging Photographer award, was selected as one of the “100 Heroines” in 2019 and is the first female South African Canon Ambassador.
In 2018, she was one of six photographers selected for the inaugural World Press Photo 6x6 Talent Program, Africa Edition, and is a 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass participant.
A former stringer for Agence France Presse (AFP), she was the first African woman to be regularly assigned by the agency in 2017.
She has published in the The National Geographic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian among others and regularly works with NGO’s.
In 2016, Gulshan completed the Market Photo Workshop Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Program in Johannesburg, South Africa where she now sometimes lectures.
Her work has been acquired by the Iziko South African National Archive, Gallery and Museum.
While working on multiple projects, Gulshan has slowly been developing a long term project about her community of contemporary Muslims in South Africa. This personal documentation aims to engage with ideas of how faith is something that we carry with us even when we cannot carry anything else. It speaks to ideas of (re-)establishment of communities around acts and spaces of worship and prayer, and the transformations of physical and social landscapes through faith, with a special interest in the perspective of women.
The project also aims at remedying the historical lack of visual representation that such communities suffered, due to the dislocation and erasure cause by colonisation and apartheid in Africa and aims to be something that generations to come can look upon as a source of history and memory.
Iziko South African National Gallery and Museum, Cape Town
2019 - Gulshan Khan / National Geographic Women of Impact, Johannesburg, South Africa
2022 - Rumi Nations, Maryland, USA
2022 - Into the Blaze, OATH / The FOURTH, Cape Town, South Africa
2021 - New Stories and Horizons, Everyday Africa, Cairo Photo Week, Egypt