Cosma Shiva Hagen is a German actress and the daughter of New Wave/punk singer Nina Hagen and musician Ferdinand Karmelk. Her grandmother is actress Eva-Maria Hagen, and her step-grandfather is the East German dissident writer Wolf Biermann. Eva-Maria Hagen was allowed to emigrate to West Germany during the 1970s. Shiva's unusual name was picked by her mother, who claimed she saw an UFO while pregnant. "Cosma" is a reference to Cosmos, and "Shiva" is a reference to the Hindu God Shiva.
Shiva is largely unknown outside of German speaking countries. Although she speaks English, her acting roles have been largely confined to German language films and television productions. She also starred in an Irish film called Short Order that was written and directed by Anthony Byrne.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Shiva speaks German, English, French and Spanish. As a child, Cosma Shiva lived in London, Berlin, Paris, Ibiza, a boarding school in Lüneburg and her current home, Hamburg.
In 2009 she began collaborating with the German Fairtrade-Label armedangels and designed her own t-shirt to be sold online.