Soya the Cow

"Is it activism? Is it entertainment? Is it art?
Who cares, she makes the world a kinder place."

Animal rights, climate activism, music and queer feminism – spiced up with a good dose of drag: that's Soya the Cow. The alter-ego of Zurich-based performance artist, musician and activist Daniel Hellmann blurs the boundaries between male and female, human and cow, and manages the balancing act between a serious desire to change the world and a humorous sense of lightness.

The artist’s transformation into their drag cow persona stands for a larger societal, economic, ecological and ethical transition. In Soya’s bovine universe, cabbage is fashion, protest is art, and the gruesome practices of animal agriculture are behind us. Thus, Soya the Cow attempts to make the unbearable more bearable and the unimaginable imaginable. She playfully questions the relationship between humans and non-humans, between fast food and fast fashion, between those who eat and those who are turned into products and eaten. What would our lives look like if we stopped cutting each other into pieces? Can we be free if not everyone is free?

Since 2018 and her debut at the Animal Rights March in front of the legendary Volksbühne Berlin, Soya the Cow has been performing in a variety of artistic contexts and forms, from her theater show Dear Human Animals (since 2020) to her electro-pop album Purple Grass (2021), in TV shows such as The Voice of Germany (2021), in the exhibition format Planet Moo (since 2022), in the streets with her art walk Try Walking in My Hooves (since 2022) and numerous protest performances in front of sausage factories or agriculture ministries, or online in social networks.

Starting from 2024, Soya is the resident house cow at Tanzhaus Zürich, where she performs with monthly art walks. Soya is also preparing an interspecies art festival for July 6 & 7, 2024 at the animal sanctuary Hof Narr, she is working on a new theater show Queere Tiere, premiering on November 13, 2024 at sogar theater in Zürich and a new album.


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