C-Doc Livestream Sunday

C-Doc Livestream

Panel Talks

In conversation, live from New York, Astra Taylor, the director of What Is Democracy? with Professor Damien Kingsbury.

Astra Taylor is a filmmaker, writer, and political organizer. She is the director of the philosophical documentaries What Is Democracy?, Examined Life (TIFF 2008), and Zizek! (TIFF 2005); the author of the American Book Award winner The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age; and a co-founder of the Debt Collective. She has written for The New York Times, The London Review of Books, The Guardian, The Walrus, The Baffler, n+1, and many other outlets. She is a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow and a former touring member of the band Neutral Milk Hotel. Her latest book, Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone, came out from Metropolitan Books in early 2019.

Damien Kingsbury holds a Personal Chair and is Professor of International Politics at Deakin University. He has published more than two dozen books on subjects within the international political field, has led 11 international election observer missions, and helped broker the 2005 Aceh peace agreement. Prior to Academia, Damien was a journalist, and winner of the 1983 Australian News Correspondents Memorial Award. He is also Deputy Chair of the Balibo House Trust and Convener of the Australian Western Sahara Association (Vic) and the Chair of the Castlemaine Documentary Film Festival.

  • If you didn’t see the whole panel discussion, you can replay it here – just scroll to the 14.5 minute mark!

  • Democracy and politics are contests of ideas and attitudes, of which there is a very wide spectrum in society so the notion that ‘the people’ know best is problematic. Rather than give up on democracy we should fix the problems like donations to political parties, corruption of the political process, benefits of incumbency, lack of an integrity commission, disenfranchisement of outsiders like prisoners.

  • Claire Jager says:

    Question: Why do we muddle up ‘democracy’ and ‘government’ – as though they are one and the same?

    Have there not been democracies with bad governments and undemocratic countries with very good governments.

  • Claire Jager says:

    Is it TRULY democratic … that in Australia, ALL eligible people MUST enroll to vote and MUST vote in Federal elections.

  • Claire Jager says:

    Question: A couple of years ago, there was newspaper coverage of a poll commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which found – somewhat surprisingly – that the Chinese were the most optimistic people on earth.

    Thinking of the current state of Western democracy – Trump … Brexit … populist nutjobs like Bolsonaro & Erdogan & a crowd of them in Eastern Europe … not to mention democracy’s friend Vladimir in Russia …

    … will Democracy make us happy again?

  • ** also a comments tip: refresh your browser window every few minutes to see the latest comments! Remember to press Play on the livestream 🙂

  • Liz Duthie says:

    What are the most effective ways for ordinary citizens to influence government?

  • Dale Fairbairn says:

    I Love this film! All the problems that I thought were just happening now have been happening for centuries. Will that help me sleep or keep me awake more?

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