Interview: Pasifika climate activist music in New Zealand, queered and disabled


  • Kirsten Zemke University of Auckland
  • Luka Leleiga Lim-Cowley University of Auckland



New Zealand, Pasifika, climate activism, music, gendersexuality, disability


This discussion is between Dr Kirsten Zemke, from the University of Auckland and her MA student-poet, dancer and climate activist, Luka Leleiga Lim-Cowley. Luka’s musical performance experiences in, and insights from, Pasifika climate activist and Pacific Indigenous sovereignty events led them to further explore the perspectives of Pasifika queer and/or disabled activists. Luka argues that disabled and gendersexuality-divergent folks should be at the foreground of these movements, as they are the most threatening to white supremacy—the ultimate culprit in Indigenous displacement and climate change. Luka’s poem, ‘Water (remix ii)’, is presented in full; the discussion flows through topics such as gender, religion, Indigeneity, and the continuums of time and space.

Author Biographies

Kirsten Zemke, University of Auckland

Kirsten Zemke is a senior lecturer in Ethnomusicology in the department of Anthropology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Luka Leleiga Lim-Cowley, University of Auckland

Luka Leleiga Lim-Cowley is currently a Master of Arts (Anthropology, Ethnomusicology) student at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Their main areas of research are Pacific Indigeneity, gendersexuality, disability, epistemic violence, and performance.


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How to Cite

Zemke, K., & Leleiga Lim-Cowley, L. . (2021). Interview: Pasifika climate activist music in New Zealand, queered and disabled. Perfect Beat, 20(2), 173–187.

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