dESIGN12+ #9: Ann Mabel Sanyu

10.07.2024 / 17:00 - 18:30

Webex only:

moderated Meike Noster

“New media, identity, and social exclusion: A study of everyday practices of identity negotiation among second-generation Ghanaian women in Germany”


The lecture in the context of the „Ringvorlesungen DESIGN 12+“ series focuses on the use of new media by second-generation Ghanaian women living in Germany (Hamburg) to negotiate their identity. It draws on the empirical findings of a larger study on Ghanaian women's use of new media to negotiate identity and belonging in Germany (Hamburg) and the UK (London). The paper uses a non-media-centered approach to contextualize the use of new media with other social and cultural processes in everyday life. It argues that while new media open up possibilities for maintaining communication networks in the face of social exclusion, other social and cultural processes must also be taken into account. The lecture will look at the role of new media in negotiating identity through communication and alternative representation as a means of exercising agency and strengthening identity in the face of social exclusion.


Ann Mabel Sanyu was born in 1982 in Kampala, Uganda, and spent part of her childhood in Nairobi, Kenya. Before coming for further studies in Europe, she was a journalist at Uganda Broadcasting Corporation. As a female journalist, she experienced several challenges, one of them being sexism and the glass ceiling. However, this only fuelled her passion to highlight the plight of women by covering stories such as domestic abuse and women’s entrepreneurship. In 2010, Ann Mabel directed and produced five films showcasing the power of sport in transforming the lives of youth living in the slums in Kampala which were screened on the BBC. In 2012, she completed her MA in the Erasmus Mundus program in Journalism and Media at Aarhus University Denmark and Universität Hamburg, Germany. Currently, Ann Mabel has completed her PhD at Ruhr Universität Bochum in Germany. Her thesis focused on: "New media use of Ghanaian women to negotiate identity and belonging in Hamburg and London." Ann Mabel Sanyu has also published an article about the findings of the study: "New media, diasporic identityand social exclusion." She has also lectured at the University of Hamburg in a seminar that focuses on intercultural, cross-cultural, and transnational communication, as well as given a course on gender and the media. Ann Mabel is passionate about women’s rights and empowerment. In 2018 she was the principal researcher for a project on gender mainstreaming in the media with the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT). Ann Mabel lives in Hamburg with her family. In her free time, she enjoys reading contemporary and historical fiction, yoga, baking, listening to music, and long walks in the park.