Astra Taylor asks “What is Democracy?” in her latest film

July 22, 2019

This past March, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement hosted a free community screening of the documentary, What is Democracy?. Co-presented with the National Film Board of Canada and Reel Causes, the screening took place at the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema at the SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, and was followed by a conversation with the director, Astra Taylor.

What is Democracy? asks audiences to consider what democracy really means, especially in our current political climate. The film brings together theorists like Silvia Federici, Cornel West, Wendy Brown, and Angela Davis as well as trauma surgeons, activists, factory workers, former prime ministers, asylum seekers and others. Together, this diverse cast helps to provide different contexts to answer the important questions of who can participate in democracy, and whether it can actually exist in this current era of concentrated wealth.

Taylor has also written a book, titled Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone, published by Metropolitan Books earlier this year.

Prior to the event, our director Am Johal had the opportunity to interview Astra about the film, why she created it, and continue the much-needed conversation around understanding democracy on Below the Radar. You can take a listen below.

If you want to learn more about the film What is Democracy?, you can check out the trailer below as well as at their website.

Be sure to subscribe to Below the Radar wherever you get your podcasts! Take a listen to previous episodes here.

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