Bio / Wer(k)

Noah Sow is a sought-after national and international speaker, artist, activist, theorist, media personality, scholar and author.

Her focal points are art, critical media analysis, de/constructions of »normalities«, economy and economics of social justice and equality work as well as Black German politics.

 

Noah Sow engages in a variety of initiatives:

 

She gives talks, keynotes, speeches and lectures around the world, in German and English language.

 

Her book »Deutschland Schwarz Weiß« (2008, C. Bertelsmann, Random House) has become a standard in the analysis and discussion of structural racism in Germany.

In 2001, she founded Germany’s first Black media watchdog, »der braune mob«.

 

As a musician, Noah Sow toured and performed worldwide and publishes on her record label Jeanne Dark Records.

She exhibitis conceptual visual and audio arts.

 

2016, she had an Op-Ed on TV (WDR).

 

Noah Sow started her career as a radio and TV personality in the 1990’s. Since, she has been portrayed and appeared on countless national and state-wide TV and broadcast programs, such as ARD, ARTE, BBC, MTV, ZDF, RTL, RTL2, Sat1, ORF, HR, WDR, BR, RBB, and many more.

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Selection of Recent Works


– Keynote: Diaspora Dynamics: Shaping the Future of Literature: ALA Conference of African Literature Association, Bayreuth, June 2015

 

– Keynote: „Kunst ist für alle da! Wie Deine Bilder die Welt verändern” (Art is for everyone – how your pictures shape the world”), Juni 2015, Bildungsstätte Anne Frank, Frankfurt (mit Jurytätigkeit zum Plakatwettbewerb »Mensch, du hast Rechte«)

 

Radio Meta: Audio Play and Radio Intervention

Radio Meta broadcasts four fictional archetypical radio formats, written, produced and performed by Noah Sow, unmasking cultural and gender-based chauvinis in pop culture and popular media. Content comes with its own meta messages thereby unclosing additional ways of reception, enjoyment, analysis.

  • Nationwide broadcast by federal public radio Deutschlandradio Kultur, March 2017
  • CTM festival 2017, Berlin – FEAR ANGER LOVE: „Radio Meta – A Major Intervention“ : presentation about conceptualizing and producing a satire audio play that deconstructs sexism, racism and bias inherent in pop music and media culture
  • Part of  the Exhibition “Ordnung // Struktur”, Thea.Lit Frauen.Kultur.Labor, Bremen, April 2015
  • Nominated and screened at 7th Berlin Radio Drama Festival (Hörspielfestival) 2016
  • Screened around cinemas in Germany (Babylon Berlin, B-Movie Hamburg, Peter-Weiss-Haus Rostock)

 

– Keynote: Wer spricht, wer liefert? Voraussetzungen für qualifizierte Antidiskriminierungsarbeit“ („Who speaks, Who delivers? – Prerequisites for Qualified Equality Work”), Forum der Kulturen, Laboratorium, Stuttgart, November 2015

 

– Keynote and Artist Presentation: „Überlegungen und Überlegenheiten Diasporischer Kunst“: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Kültürgemma, October 2015

 

– Sister-Wellness: an evening for exchange on ‘wellness’ and self care as political act, for Black Women*Inter*Trans*/People. Curator, panelist, short film. Berlin, 12.12.14

 

– Guernica-Society at Federal Collection of Art Dresden: Keynote “Schwarze Wissensproduktion als angeeignete Profilierungsressource” (“The appropriation of Black Knowledge Production for Nonblack academical careers”) 6. Dezember 2014, keynote lecture at Dresden State Art Collections and AG Queer Studies Hamburg 2014, reprinted in: Kunst und Politik Jahrbuch der Guernica-Gesellschaft– Band 017, Anna Greve (Hg.) Weißsein und Kunst, Neue postkoloniale Analysen, V&R unipress, Göttingen, 2015 ISBN 978-3-8471-0526-8 (Art and Politics Yearbook of the Guernica Society, Whiteness and The Arts, New Postcolonial Ways of Analysis)

 

– Guest Lecture “Decolonize Your Veranstaltungsplanung (aka: verantwortlich Veranstalten)” – Epic Fails und Bessere Praxis für die Planung transformativer Projekte: Einführung und Grundlagen. (Decolonize Your Event Planning – epic fails and better practice for planning transformative projects), AG Queer Studies Universität Hamburg, 2016, conference “Vernetzt Euch”, Berlin, 2015

 

– Publication (edt.) »German Humor« book presentation / performance

 

Seminar: Decolonising Who? – Curating Change, HfBK (Hochschule für bildende Künste) Hamburg, SoSe 2015

 

– Keynote: “Jenseits böser Wörter… Hegemoniale Mechaniken öffentlicher Sprache” (“Beyond ugly words: hegemonic mechanics of public speech”) on Symposium “Correctly Political! Sprachkritik und kritischer Sprachgebrauch für das 21. Jahrhundert”, University Hamburg, 25. Juli 2014

 

– Guest lecture: “Dominanzerhalt über Kommunikation innerhalb von Medien und ‘Antira’-Arbeit” (“Preservation of dominance via communication – by examples of media and ‘anti-racist’ work”), University of Osnabrück, 2. Juli 2014

 

– Exhibition/Storytelling-Project “Wall of Wellness” at Berlin Art Festival “48h Neukölln”, with Hollaback!Berlin and “Stop Telling Women to Smile” by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, 27.-29. June 2014, Endorphina Berlin

 

– Publication of Electronic Griotage “Rest, Rooms” in book AfroFictional In[ter]ventions, Susan Arndt & Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard (Hg.), edition assemblage, Februar 2014

 

– September 2013 Lecture: »Not Exactly Mainstream: 30 Years of Afrodeutsche Artistic Production«, Northwestern University, Deptment of African American Studies, Chicago

 

– 2013 Presentation of unreleased novel in German (original) and English translation at BIGSAS Literaturfestival Bayreuth (‘intertextuality’)

 

– Presentation “Lost in [Cultural] Translation – Common North American Misconceptions about Black Germany”, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York 2012, 2nd Annual BGCS Convention http://blackgermans.us/convention2012/index.php/2012-05-21-18-28-32/participants/40-noah-sow

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– Curator “Blacklectic” Intersectional Live-Music and Art Dialog, Hamburg and Berlin 2012 and 2013

 

– Personality book backside blurb; reading of unpublished May Ayim poems at book presentation »Euer Schweigen schützt Euch nicht: Audre Lorde und die Schwarze Frauenbewegung in Deutschland« (Peggy Piesche, Orlanda, 2013)

 

– Keynote ”Strengthening Transatlantic Connections” , Black German Cultural Society (BGCS), Humanities Council of Washington, DC and German Historical Institute Washington Autumn 2011 http://blackgermans.us/convention2011/

 

– Co-Author of Dictionary “Wie Rassismus aus Wörtern spricht – (K)Erben des Kolonialismus im Wissensarchiv deutsche Sprache. Ein kritisches Nachschlagewerk” (~How Racism speaks out of Words – Legacy and Continuity of Colonialism in the Knowledge Archives of German Language. A Critical Reference Book) Editors: Susan Arndt and Nadia Ofuatey-Alazard), Unrast Verlag, Münster, 2011 (Contributed 100 pages)

 

– Featured in “Briefe bewegen die Welt“ (~Letters move the world), te Neues Verlag: A chapter about NoahSow ‘s friendship with Activist, Author, Scholar Rosemarie Pena (Hellmuth Karasek, Editor) 2011 http://www.noahsow.de/blog/?p=4044

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– Libretto “Clong”, a musical for the youth , Federal State of Northrhine Westfalia, 2010

 

– Curator “Punk of Color“ Panel Discussion, Hamburg Black History Month on History, Roots, Unique and Sub-Cultural aspects of Black Rock Music 2010

 

– Conception, Production, Script, Director, and Live Performance “Edutainment Attacke” , a Multi-media Live Duo Show which includes Stand-Up Comedy, Videoclips, Short Readings and diversity and equality education, with stage Partner and Co-Author Mutlu Ergün. Numerous live performances, tours and shows, Germany, 2009-2012

 

– Founder Jeanne Dark Records, 2009 Self-released NOISEAUX “Out Now!” debut album, whose lyrics are utilized as teaching materials in German Studies at universities in the US.

 

– TV Presenter, Reporter Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung: WDR and Federal Agency for Civic Education; Live Educational Television report series targeted at young adults and teens facing social challenges. 2008-2010

 

– Presentation ‘Strukturell dominanter Diskurs am Beispiel deutscher Medien’ (media analysis: hegemonic discourse) at symposium “Rassismus Wissenschaft Universität” (Racism, Science, University), Berlin, 2009

 

– Presentation, Lecture and Symposium “Enträumlichung” (Dislocation/Deterritorialization), Goethe Institute, Sao Paolo, 2008

 

– Author of »Deutschland Schwarz weiß: der alltägliche Rassismus« (ISBN 978-3-570-01008-2) (Germany Black White – everyday racism) C. Bertelsmann / Random House, 2008, which has since become a standard and frequently quoted reference in contemporary German decolonial literature, studies and education. Further editions of the book have since been released as well as an updated e-book and an audio version.

 

1991 – 2008: producer, author, host of various weekly personality radio and tv shows in ARD stations HR, WDR, SWF, RBB; Jury for Voice talent casting show “Popstars”, TV appearances

 

Some Clients and Lieus of Presentation

 

Universities and Research Centres

Barnard College, Columbia University, New York
Humboldt-Universität Berlin
Northwestern University Chicago
Colorado College
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
University of Fine Arts Berlin
Institut für Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft, J.W.Goethe- Universität Frankfurt/Main
Universität Mainz
Universität Bremen
Universität Hamburg
Universität Hannover
Universität Bielefeld Fakultät für Erziehungswissenschaft
Universität Bayreuth

and many more

 

NGO’s, Grassroots, Diaspora Organisations

ALA African Literature Association
BIGSAS Festival of African and African Diasporic Literatures
ISD Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland
MRBB Migrationsrat Berlin-Brandenburg
Black German Heritage And Research Association

and many more

 

Government Institutions

German Federal Agency for Political Education.
German State Centres for Political Education.

Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections)

City of Leipzig
City of Munich
City of Dresden
Goethe Institut Sao Paolo
Goethe Institut München

and many more

Affiliations

– Member, Intercultural Council Germany (Interkultureller Rat Deutschland) 2009- 2010
– Creator and Director , Music Empowerment Workshops for Women* and Girls* , 2012 to Present
– Researcher, Educator and Lecturer on Intersectional strategies of Empowerment, Autonomy and Resistance 2008 to Present
– Founder and Chairwoman “Der Braune Mob”: ( “The Brown Mob”) , German’s premiere Black media watchdog, 2001 – Present
– Conception, KiKuJU, (creative writing contest for Afrodeutsche children) , 2001 to Present
– Consultant, Advisor, Expert on Non-Discriminatory Media Practice, 1997 to Present

Selection of Interviews

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(english, german:)

 

“Kunst braucht keine Erlaubnis. Sie gehört Euch bereits”: Interview in »other stories« (Bildungsstätte Anne Frank, FfM, 2015)

Interview zum Thema »Herkunft«, 20.7.2015

Interview for ‘Live Unchained’: Noah Sow on Punk, Freedom and Living Your Truth

“Sich ins 21. Jahrhundert zu begeben, wie soll das Nachteile haben?” – Interview im MIGAZIN; Leitartikel

„Mit Streicheln und ganz lieb nachfragen verändert man keine (rassistischen) Herrschaftsstrukturen.“, Interview mit Hannelore Forster: Random House

Zwischenbilanz: 7 Jahre nach Deutschland Schwarz Weiß” („Emanzipatorische Aufklärung zeigt sich wellenförmig“): Heimatkunde; Heinrich Boell Stiftung

“Ihr wollt nichts von uns wissen”, Interview mit Jeanine Kantara: DIE ZEIT / Zünder

“Wir brauchen mehr Intoleranz”, Interview mit Tatjana Schütz: amnesty journal

“Schwarz – das ist ein politischer Begriff”: Interview mit Frankfurter Rundschau

“Ein angemalter Weißer ist kein Schwarzer”: (#Wallraff) Interview mit Tagesschau.de

“Anti-Thilo”: Hans Hermann Kotte über Noah Sows Buch Deutschland Schwarz Weiß in der Frankfurter Rundschau

“Verborgene Geschichte/n” – Darstellung Schwarzer Menschen in deutschen Medien: Interview mit ORF

“Es gibt kein Selbstinformierungsverbot”: Interview mit Lotta – antifaschistische Zeitung aus NRW

“Noiseaux Rocks Worldwide”: Interview with Sonic Eclectic Magazine

Was mit Medien” – Noah Sow als Medienexpertin zwei Stunden im Interview mit Daniel Fiene: Sondersendung, Radio Q in Zusammenarbeit mit Medienrauschen (15.10.2005)

“Germany is a developing country in terms of racism”: Interview with Kennisaanval Magazine

Teaching(s)

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Since 2008, Noah Sow deliveres talks, keynotes, speeches and lectures around the world, in German and English language. Clients range from NGO’s and government institutions over cultural institutions and art facilities to universities, community groups and youth organisations.

 

More: -> Keynote, Speech, Lecture

Print Publications (Selection)

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See also: -> Print Publications

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2008 »Deutschland Schwarz Weiß« (“Germany Black and White”, 2008, C. Bertelsmann, Random House), monography, which has since become a standard in the analysis and discussion of structural racism in Germany and is used in many curricula. 

Several editions have been published by Goldmann Verlag (Rando House).

An audio edition was published in 2010.

A revised Ebook version was published in 2015.

 

2011 Co-author (100 entries) of the Dictionary  “Wie Rassismus aus Wörtern spricht” (“How Racism Speaks through Words”) (Edt.: Susan Arndt and Nadia Ofuatey-Alazard), Unrast Verlag, Münster

 

2011 Briefe bewegen die Welt, Band II”, by Hellmuth Karasek (edt.), teNeues Verlag. Chapter, portrait and letter from Rosemarie Peña to Noah Sow.
Backdrop: Afrodeutsche children had been given up for adoption to other countries through pressure from Germany’s parliament shortly after (!) WWII. Blog article on the subject and portrait: http://www.noahsow.de/blog/?p=4044

 

2014 Transcript of Noah Sow’s electronic Griotage “Rest, Rooms” , as performed at the BIGSAS Festival of African Literatures, in:
AfroFictional In[ter]ventions, Susan Arndt & Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard (Edt.), edition assemblage, 2014

 

2015 “Schwarze Wissensproduktion als angeeignete Profilierungsressource” (“The appropriation of Black Knowledge Production for Nonblack academical careers”) in: Kunst und Politik Jahrbuch der Guernica-Gesellschaft– Band 017, Anna Greve (Hg.) Weißsein und Kunst, Neue postkoloniale Analysen, V&R unipress, Göttingen, 2015 ISBN 978-3-8471-0526-8 (Art and Politics Yearbook of the Guernica Society, Whiteness and The Arts, New Postcolonial Ways of Analysis)

 

 

2017 Article “Diaspora Dynamics: Shaping The Future Of Literature” in: Arndt, Susan, Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard, and Abioseh Porter eds. Future Africa and Beyond. Visions in Transition. Special Issue of Journal of the African Literature Association (peer-reviewed). London/New York: Routledge, 2017, featuring Wole Soyinka, Teju Cole and many more.

Radio & TV (Selection)

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From 1990 to 2007, Noah Sow has been hosting, writing, producing and appearing in her personality shows at Germany’s most influential young -mostly public (comparable to BBC) – radio and TV programs, such as WDR-Einslive, hr3, SWF3, Radio Fritz, You FM, ARD, RTL2. During this period, she also wrote and produced comedy and lyrical pieces that aired on numerous stations.

 

2003 WDR aired her audio play debut Underground , which she had written, produced, composed music for and played a main character.

 

2005 Noah Sow was portrayed in the film documentary Black Deutschland (Director: Oliver Hardt).

2001, Noah Sow was a member of the jury in the second series of  “Popstars” (RTL2, a national american-idol-like TV music talent show).

– 2003, Noah Sow was the voice, presenter and quiz question master of the video game Pop-Minds (datkom). She later appeared as herself in the video game “A-Band” (Flammable).

 

– 2004, Noah Sow was voice over and composer for the video installation pain of separation by Christina Lissmann, nominee for the International Media-Art award

 

– 2005, she was voiceover and script author of the short film Kraft (Filmfestival „filmund50“) , featuring Katy Karrenbauer. The film anticipated a female chancellor for Germany, as well as the withdrawal from the withdrawal from atomic energy AND the German Democratic Union’s election campaign slogan four years later.

                      -> Comparison: Original (short film, 2005) and official CDU spot 2009)

 

– 2008 Noah Sow helped young adults structiue complex life decisions in the educational TV show „Entscheide Dich“ (WDR & German Federal Agency for Political Education).

Music

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Noah Sow works as a composer, performance artist, recording artist, vocalist and producer since the 1980’s. Her productions and publications range from accoustic art over Jazz to Pop and Punk. 

Her own music projects allowed her to play live shows on five continents, in stadiums, punk rock pubs, jazz venues, large festivals and small indie sheds. She toured as solo artist, with her rock band, fronting a bigband as well as conceptual avantguardistic projects. Her music productions got published by major record labels, small indies and much in between. She released on Warner Chappell, Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Universal and other majors and minors. Her pop project NOISEAUX’ songs are played by hundreds of radio stations around the world.

 

2015 Noah Sow published the music Radio-Art-Audio-Play »Radio Meta«.

 

Since 2009, Noah Sow releases music on her own Label »Jeanne Dark Records«, under the name NOISEAUX, with various guest musicians.

 

September 2009, she released “Out Now!” , NOISEAUX’ Debut Double Album (genre: „Afropunk, post-whatever“) on Jeanne Dark Records. ‘Out Now’ was  the first Music CD ever that contained all songs in both an English and a German version.

 

– reviews HERE
– Watch spectacular Video: deutsch / englisch

 

2012 , Noah Sow released the second NOISEAUX Album »SPECTRUM« (Genre: Elektro Loop Aspie Afropunk Chanson) which she recorded and produced after returning from a tour through Europe with the legendary 24-7 SPYZ.

SPECTRUM’s third single, ‘Nodemocracy’ was released during the federal election campaigns 2013, featuring a video that flips the script for societaly roles of Black singer/white politician

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Other musical endeavors; selection:

 

– 2012 Performance at Blue Note Jazz Club New York

– 2008 Member of the Black German Female Vocalist group ‘SISTERS’. songwriting and vocalist on Album gender riots (2008), show at Bundesvision Song Contest (national TV show), Production of “Nora Snows Punkkaraoke RMX”, International tours with SISTERS 2008, leading through Germany, but also Senegal and including a show in Dakar and one at the Cologne Philharmony with the WDR Bigband.

– 2010 curator of Punk of Color( Black History Month Hamburg)

– 2010 playwright of the young musical CLONG (Land NRW)

 

-> listen to music

 

Resistance

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Noah Sow is chair of the organisation “der braune mob”.

In 2010 she was voted into the BWIE-List of Europe’s most powerful Black Women

 

She teaches and publishes in the topics of

 

  • Artist Talk
  • Afrodeutsche Pop Cultures, politics and resistance; Black German Studies
  • Creative autonomy and Encouragement (motivational; all ages)
  • How to avoid common traps in drafting and organizing decolonial events and projects
  •  Discourse analysis of German media and public in regards to exclusion/inclusion and equality
  • Diasporic and hegemonic meta communications
  • Hidden mechanics of institutional and structural racism
  • (De)constructions of ‘the norm’
  •  Independent art productions as a transformative measure 
  • Practice and Theory in groups and projects for social justice
  • Post- and Decolonial Studies

Kunst // Visual Art