Keynote: Astra Taylor

Astra Taylor

Taking Back Power in the Age of Networks

Friday, May 1, 7:30-9 pm
Adel Sedra Auditorium, Bahen Centre for Information Technology, 40 St. George St.
This event is free and open to the public

The Internet is said to be a space of democratic expression and transformation, both culturally and politically. But how true is that claim? What are some of the economic, technical, and legal obstacles in place? Drawing from my recent book, The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, and my experience as an artist and an activist, this talk will address campaigns by musicians against streaming services and debtors against creditors to reflect on the larger question of how to organize and leverage change in an age of virtual networks—be they networks of cultural distribution or financial ones.

Astra Taylor is a filmmaker, writer, and activist. Her films include Zizek!, a feature 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 essays and criticism have been published widely and she is the editor of Examined Life, a companion volume 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. Her latest book is The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age. She is currently working on a documentary about democracy.

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