Astra Taylor (born September 30, 1979) is a Canadian-American documentary filmmaker, writer, activist and musician. She is a fellow of the Shuttleworth Foundation, for her work on challenging predatory practices around debt.
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Taylor grew up in Athens, Georgia, and was unschooled until age 13 when she enrolled in ninth grade. At 16 she abandoned high school to attend classes at the University of Georgia, which she only stayed at for a year before heading to Brown University. She attended classes there for a year and dropped out when she realized that unschooling was a lifelong commitment. Taylor has taught sociology at the University of Georgia and SUNY New Paltz. Her writings have appeared in numerous magazines, including Dissent, n+1, Adbusters, The Baffler, The Nation, Salon, and The London Review of Books.
Taylor is the sister of painter and disability activist Sunny Taylor, and is married to Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel. She joined Neutral Milk Hotel onstage for a number of shows in 2013 and 2014, playing guitar and accordion. She is a vegan. She lives in New York.
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. 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.
- Examined Life: Excursions with Contemporary Thinkers (editor), The New Press, 2009, ISBN 9781595584472
- Occupy!: Scenes From Occupied America (co-editor), Verso, 2012, ISBN 9781844679409
- The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, Henry Holt and Company, 2014, ISBN 9780007525591
- "The faux-bot revolution", in A Field Guide to The Future of Work, RSA Future Work Centre, 2018
- Democracy May Not Exist, but We'll Miss It When It's Gone, Metropolitan Books, 2019
- http://www.hiddendriver.com/ archived
- Tortorici, Dayna, ed. (2013), "Group three", No Regrets: Three Discussions, Brooklyn, New York, p. 71, retrieved December 30, 2014
- "Astra Taylor". shuttleworthfoundation.org. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
- http://www.hiddendriver.com/about Astra Taylor's official bio, accessed February 8, 2009
- Michelle Drew. "Interview with Unschooled Filmmaker, Astra Taylor". CitizenShift. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013.
- "The Unschooled Life: Astra Taylor's Story". PopularResistance.Org. January 16, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
- "Authors: Astra Taylor". Dissent Magazine. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- "Astra Taylor - Authors". n+1. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- "Astra Taylor". Adbusters. Archived from the original on October 26, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- "Astra Taylor - The Baffler". The Baffler. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
- "Author Bios: Astra Taylor". The Nation. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- "Astra Taylor". Salon.com. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- "Astra Taylor". The London Review of Books. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- http://www.freewilliamsburg.com/january_2002/sunny.html "Sunny Taylor", Free Williamsburg, accessed February 8, 2009.
- http://www.gloriousnoise.com/articles/2008/jeff_mangum_married.php Article from Glorious Noise, accessed February 8, 2009.
- Jarnow, Jesse. "Neutral Milk Hotel's First Show in 15 Years Was Ragged, Glorious". Spin.com. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- "Jeff Mangum Benefit for WFAS". Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. October 28, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
- Taylor, Astra (2014). The People's Platform. New York.
- "Read Our New Gazette". n+1. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
- "VersoBooks.com". www.versobooks.com. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
- Phillips, Charlie (June 11, 2018). "What Is Democracy? review searing analysis of who's really in control". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
- Brown, Drew (September 11, 2018). "The Epic Conversation About Democracy We Need Right Now". Vice. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
- Dougherty, Sally (December 2009). "Book Review Examined Life: Excursions with Contemporary Thinkers edited by Astra Taylor". Theosophy Northwest. Theosophy Northwest. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- "Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America". VersoBooks.com. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- Wu, Tim (July 18, 2014). "Content and Its Discontents". The New York Times. Retrieved September 2, 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?
- "Field Guide to the Future of Work: Essay collection - RSA". web.archive.org. January 9, 2019. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
|"Utopian Potential of the Internet": Astra Taylor on How to Take Back Power & Culture in Digital Age, Democracy Now, April 25, 2014|
- What Is Democracy?
- Official website
- Astra Taylor on IMDb
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Sarah Leonard (June 4, 2014). "Can the Internet Be a 'People's Platform'? A Q&A With Astra Taylor". The Nation.
- "Astra Taylor on The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age". Harper's. August 7, 2014.
- Elisabeth Donnelly (April 17, 2014). "Everyone On the Internet Needs to Read 'The People's Platform': An Interview With Astra Taylor". flavorwire.