Maya Surya Pillay

Maya Surya Pillay is a brown queer girl who was born in 1997 in Durban. She started telling stories before she learned how to write them down. She is currently a medical student at the University of Cape Town, and wants to practice as a narrative psychiatrist within the public sector. She asked her friends how they would describe her so she could write this bio and they said “angry” and “short”, which aren’t wrong.


Pillay is also a writer and activist. Her work currently focuses on deconstructing and reconstructing South African Indian identity; race, gender, sexuality and mental health; postcolonial trauma and healing; digital childhood; the intimacies and distances of medicine; and dreams. Her writing has appeared here and there, including in the American Poetry Review, Q-Zine, Afridiaspora, Type/Cast, AERODROME and Ja. Magazine

Exhibitions at the KZNSA

In Bloom
Mezzanine Gallery