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As Lady Bitch Ray, Reyhan Şahin pioneered feminist sexualised German rap in a clearly male-dominated hip-hop scene. As an Alevi Muslim woman she provoked and moved crowds and feuilletons alike with her often pornographic language and sex-positive, intersectional themes – taking her cue from Black American female musicians such as Lil’ Kim and Missy Elliott. In this lecture, she illuminates the political potential of hip-hop and the liberating influence that music and writing lyrics also had on her own life. How did it happen that the radical gesture of rap could be so consequently softened and white-washed?
Reyhan Şahin is an academic researcher, political activist, book author, performance artist, rapper, fashion designer, journalist and educational consultant. Under the name Lady Bitch Ray she was a (queer) feminist pioneer of German rap. In 2012, she completed her PhD in linguistics on the meaning system of the Muslim headscarf in Germany. She is currently researching the topics of the New Right, racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim racism, Islamism, intersectionality and gender. Since 2020, she has also been writing and performing spoken word texts on topics such as racism, feminism, intersectionality and sexuality. Şahin also works as an educational consultant in the field of anti-racism, prevention, Islam, feminism, empowerment and gender. Her most recent books are Yalla, Feminismus! (2019) and Lady Bitch Ray über Madonna (2020).