Sebastian J. Lowe is a New Zealand anthropologist, musician and filmmaker. He was born in Hamilton, New Zealand, where he undertook his bachelor degrees in anthropology and music. He continued his studies in music (viola performance) in Bergen, Norway, before moving to Aarhus, Denmark, to study for his MSc in visual anthropology. His interests include music, indigenous rights, ecology, performance practice, experimental anthropology and participatory film making. He is also the co-founder of Queltehue Film Collective and the blog, Word of Mouth.
My PhD project, which is for the moment entitled, Ecological rights and indigenous sound worlds, is a practice-led, audio-visual project that explores the relationships between the environment and its human and non-human inhabitants in Aotearoa New Zealand. Through an in-depth critique of local environmental issues through a community-based sound/music project with Māori along the Whanganui River, I am interested in investigating alternative approaches to land ownership and management. These bio-social, political spaces provide crucial platforms for positive change in how we collectively perceive and conduct ourselves in relation to the environment. This project uniquely identifies sound as a highly revealing medium of enquiry in the study of contemporary indigenous values, practices and ecological politics.
Associate Professor Jennifer Deger
Professor Ton Otto
Lowe, S. (2015). Towards an ethnography on the renaissance of taonga pūoro” – 40 Years on: Does anthropology really need a theme? Paper presented at the Annual conference of ASAA/NZ (Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa/New Zealand), 25-27 November, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Lowe, S. (2017). Connecting with the inner-landscapes: Taonga pūoro, musical improvisation, and wayfaring through acoustic Aotearoa/New Zealand. Paper presented at the Shifting States Conference of Social Anthropology (combined conference of the Australian, New Zealand and Commonwealth associations of social anthropology), 11-15 December, Adelaide, Australia.
Lowe, S. (2017). Filming Toanga Pūoro: The potential of experimental film in anthropological and ethnomusicological enquiry. Paper presented at Fridolin to the digital age: An audio-visual research symposium on music from around the world, 1-2 June, Aarhus University, Denmark.
Lowe, S. J. (2017). New website for the Eye & Mind Laboratory for Visual Anthropology at Aarhus University. Newsletter of the Nordic Anthropological Film Association (NAFA), 24(4), 6.
Lowe, S. J., & Crawford, P. I. (2018). Filming Taonga Pūoro: The potential of experimental film in anthropological and ethnomusicological enquiry. Sites: A journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies.
Lowe, S. J., & Fraser, A. (2018). Connecting with inner-landscapes: Taonga pūoro, musical improvisation and exploring acoustic Aotearoa/New Zealand. Journal of New Zealand & Pacific Studies, 6(1), 5–20, doi:10.1386/nzps.6.1.5_1
Tutor in anthropology at Waikato University 2008-2011