Astra Taylor

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Astra Taylor (born 1979)[1] 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.[2]


Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Taylor grew up in Athens, Georgia,[3] and was unschooled until age 13 when she enrolled in ninth grade.[4] 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.[5] Taylor has taught sociology at the University of Georgia and SUNY New Paltz. Her writings have appeared in numerous magazines, including Dissent,[6] n+1,[7] Adbusters,[8] The Baffler,[9] The Nation,[10] Salon,[11] and The London Review of Books.[12]

Taylor is the sister of painter and disability activist Sunny Taylor,[13] and is married to Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel.[14] She joined Neutral Milk Hotel onstage for a number of shows in 2013 and 2014, playing guitar and accordion.[15] She is a vegan.[16] She lives in New York.[17]


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.[18] 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.[19]






  1. ^ Tortorici, Dayna, ed. (2013), "Group three", No Regrets: Three Discussions, Brooklyn, New York, p. 71, retrieved 2014-12-30 
  2. ^ "Astra Taylor". Retrieved 2018-05-23. 
  3. ^ Astra Taylor's official bio, accessed February 8, 2009
  4. ^ "Interview with Unschooled Filmmaker, Astra Taylor" by Michelle Drew for CitizenShift: Media for social change
  5. ^ "The Unschooled Life: Astra Taylor's Story". PopularResistance.Org. 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2017-04-24. 
  6. ^ "Authors: Astra Taylor". Dissent Magazine. Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  7. ^ "Astra Taylor - Authors". n+1. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Astra Taylor". Adbusters. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "Astra Taylor - The Baffler". The Baffler. Retrieved 2016-03-06. 
  10. ^ "Author Bios: Astra Taylor". The Nation. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Astra Taylor". Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Astra Taylor". The London Review of Books. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Sunny Taylor", Free Williamsburg, accessed February 8, 2009.
  14. ^ Article from Glorious Noise, accessed February 8, 2009.
  15. ^ Jarnow, Jesse. "Neutral Milk Hotel's First Show in 15 Years Was Ragged, Glorious". Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Jeff Mangum Benefit for WFAS". Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. October 28, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2016. 
  17. ^ Taylor, Astra (2014). The People's Platform. New York. 
  18. ^ "Read Our New Gazette". n+1. Retrieved 2016-03-06. 
  19. ^ "". Retrieved 2016-03-06. 
  20. ^ Dougherty, Sally (December 2009). "Book Review Examined Life: Excursions with Contemporary Thinkers edited by Astra Taylor". Theosophy Northwest. Theosophy Northwest. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  21. ^ "Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America". Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  22. ^ 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