Astra Taylor

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Astra Taylor (born 1979[1]) is a Canadian-American documentary filmmaker, writer, activist and musician.


Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Taylor grew up in Athens, Georgia,[2] and was unschooled until age 13.[3] She attended Brown University for a year and dropped out of graduate school at the age of 21 to pursue film making hands on with involvement with Miracle Tree and Persons of Interest.[4] Taylor holds an MA in Liberal Studies from The New School. She has taught sociology at the University of Georgia and SUNY New Paltz. Her writings have appeared in numerous magazines, including Dissent,[5] n+1,[6] Adbusters,[7] The Baffler,[8] The Nation,[9] Salon,[10] and The London Review of Books.[11]

Taylor is the sister of painter and disability activist Sunny Taylor,[12] and is married to Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel.[13] She joined Neutral Milk Hotel onstage for a number of shows in 2013 and 2014, playing guitar and accordion.[14] She is a vegan.[15]


Taylor was active in the Occupy Movement and was the co-editor of Occupy!: An OWS-Inspired Gazette with Sarah Leonard of Dissent magazine and Keith Gessen of n+1.[16] The broadsheet covered Occupy Wall Street in five issues over the course of the first year of the occupation and was later anthologized by Verso Books.[17] She was also a founder of Rolling Jubilee, a Strike Debt project, which to date has relieved $39 million in debt since 2011 by crowd-sourcing funds and purchasing debt.[18]






  1. ^ Tortorici, Dayna, ed. (2013), "Group three", No Regrets: Three Discussions, Brooklyn, New York, p. 71, retrieved 2014-12-30 
  2. ^ Astra Taylor's official bio, accessed February 8, 2009
  3. ^ "Interview with Unschooled Filmmaker, Astra Taylor" by Michelle Drew for CitizenShift: Media for social change
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Authors: Astra Taylor". Dissent Magazine. Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  6. ^ "Astra Taylor - Authors". n+1. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Astra Taylor". Adbusters. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Astra Taylor - The Baffler". The Baffler. Retrieved 2016-03-06. 
  9. ^ "Author Bios: Astra Taylor". The Nation. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Astra Taylor". Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Astra Taylor". The London Review of Books. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Sunny Taylor", Free Williamsburg, accessed February 8, 2009.
  13. ^ Article from Glorious Noise, accessed February 8, 2009.
  14. ^ Jarnow, Jesse. "Neutral Milk Hotel's First Show in 15 Years Was Ragged, Glorious". Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "Jeff Mangum Benefit for WFAS". Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. October 28, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Read Our New Gazette". n+1. Retrieved 2016-03-06. 
  17. ^ "". Retrieved 2016-03-06. 
  18. ^ Taylor, Astra (2015-02-27). "A Strike Against Student Debt". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-03-06. 
  19. ^ Dougherty, Sally (December 2009). "Book Review Examined Life: Excursions with Contemporary Thinkers edited by Astra Taylor.". Theosophy Northwest. Theosophy Northwest. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  20. ^ "Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America". Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  21. ^ Wu, Tim (July 18, 2014). "Content and Its Discontents". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 September 2014. “The People’s Platform” should be taken as a challenge by the new media that have long claimed to be improving on the old order. Can they prove they are capable of supporting a sustainable cultural ecosystem, in a way that goes beyond just hosting parties at the Sundance Film Festival? 

External links[edit]

External video
"Utopian Potential of the Internet": Astra Taylor on How to Take Back Power & Culture in Digital Age, Democracy Now, April 25, 2014

[[Category:American documentary filmmakers]]