[Public Seminar]

Food, Pleasure and Poison in Cape Town:

A Response to World Food Day






Zayaan Khan

Zayaan is a food activist and seed librarian from Cape Town. She 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.

Rutendo Furusa

Rutendo (Ru) Furusa is a chef, food blogger and recipe developer who enjoys experimenting with different flavours to create tasty, nutritious food. Originally from Zimbabwe, Ru started her career in food at the young age of 5 as a sous chef in her mother’s kitchen, preparing hearty meals for the family with produce from their backyard. This fueled her passion for cooking with vegetables and sustainably grown local produce. Ru holds a Masters in Development Studies from UCT, but food has always been her first love. She is currently a guest chef on the popular lifestyle show Afternoon Express.

Haidee Swanby

Haidee Swanby has worked for the past 20 years as a researcher and activist in what is now emerging as an African Food Sovereignty movement. Her focus has been on traditional agriculture, indigenous knowledge, and the privatisation of African agriculture and corporate control of the food system. Her Masters research explores how we draw on the visceral to build political identities and catalyse activism; how food feels in our bodies, connects to intellect, emotions and histories and the choices we make as a result.

Angelo Fick

Angelo Fick is the Director of Research at ASRI. Before joining ASRI, he spent nearly half a decade as a resident current affairs and news analyst in the broadcast sector in South Africa. For two decades he taught across a variety of disciplines in the Humanities and Applied Sciences in universities in South Africa and Europe. His research is informed by critical ‘race’ theory, feminism, colonial discourse theory, and post-structuralism. He has written widely on post-millennial post-apartheid South Africa’s political economy, and remains interested in broader issues of justice, freedom, and equality. He has supervised graduate work on the representation of women politicians in South African media, the figuration of subjectivity in contemporary critical theory, and most recently, an analysis of the relationship between national sovereignty and supra-national organisations in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In May 2019 he was one of the primary analysts of the South African general elections for South Africa’s public broadcaster, the SABC.


Desiree Lewis

Desiree Lewis is a professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of the Western Cape, and the lead Principal Researcher of the Mellon-funded intra-university “Critical Food Studies Programme”