Gulshan Khan is an independent South African photographer based in Johannesburg.
Her work is focused on stories related to social justice, identity, human rights, transition and belonging and the dignity of people; the multi-layered effects of everything from access to water and sanitation, safe housing, equal education and healthcare, gender based violence to plastic pollution, climate change and migration. These are themes which continue to direct her visual reflections of the human condition and the world around her.
A stringer for Agence France Presse (AFP), she was the first African woman to be hired by the agency in 2017. She has published in the The National Geographic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, New Frame, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Le Monde, The Financial Times, El Pais, The Wall Street Journal, among others. Gulshan has worked with various NGO’s including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the African Women's Development Fund.
In 2018, she was one of six photographers selected for the World Press Photo 6x6 Talent Program, Africa Edition, and was a 2020 Joop Swart Nominee. In 2016, Gulshan completed the Market Photo Workshop Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Program in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a National Geographic Explorer, a member of the World Press Photo's African Photojournalism Database (APJD), Native and Women Photograph and is an Everyday Africa contributor.
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.