Astra Taylor is a filmmaker, writer, and activist. Her films include Zizek!, a documentary about the world’s most outrageous philosopher, and Examined Life, a series of excursions with contemporary thinkers including Slavoj Zizek, Judith Butler, Cornel West, Peter Singer and others. Taylor’s writing has appeared in The Nation, the London Review of Books, Bookforum, and elsewhere. She is the editor of Examined Life, a companion to the film, and coeditor of Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America. Taylor also helped launch the Occupy offshoot Strike Debt and its Rolling Jubilee campaign. Most recently she is the author of the book The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age. She is currently working on a documentary about democracy.
The Debt Collective is a new organization for organizing, advocacy and resistance with and on behalf of people in debt. It is an initiative firmly grounded in the present moment of wage stagnation, mass indebtedness, and a fractured working and middle class. The Debt Collective enables its members—whether they are low-wage workers, mortgage holding families, or struggling students—to renegotiate, resist, and refuse unfair debts. This talk will provide an overview of the Debt Collective’s current campaigns, look at the limitations and possibilities of digital technologies for building debtor power, and ask what role can debtor organizing play in building a more cooperative economy.