Hidden Driver

Hidden Driver is the creative home of Laura Hanna and Astra Taylor, who use every medium at their disposal—documentary, animation, the written word, activist campaigning, and ethical spectacle making—to better understand the world, connect with others, and challenge the status quo.

Laura Hanna

Laura Hanna is a filmmaker, media activist and organizer. She helped launch Strike Debt's Rolling Jubilee initiative, produced The People's Bailout Telethon at Le Poisson Rouge, and co-founded the Debt Collective, an economic justice organization that advocates for the rights of debtors. She is director of Gattis, James, Hammer, and Williams, four long form clemency films about death row inmates in Indiana, Delaware, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Hanna co-directed the Perpetual Peace Project film series installed in the New Museum, ICA, Goldsmiths, Utrecht University, and the International Peace Institute. She was commissioned to produce short films for The Venice Biennale of Architecture with Kyong Park and Ted Smith. Hanna has directed and produced shorts for The Nation, OR Books, The New Press, MoMA, Creative Time, SEIU, Art Review, The New School and Slought Foundation.

Astra Taylor

Astra Taylor is a writer, documentarian, 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. Both movies premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Taylor’s writing has appeared in The Nation, the London Review of Books, n+1, The Baffler, the New York Times, and elsewhere. She is the editor of Examined Life, a companion volume to the film, and coeditor of Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America. She helped launch the Rolling Jubilee and co-founded the Debt Collective. Most recently she is the author of the book The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, winner of a 2015 American Book Award. She is a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow.


Rolling Jubilee

Laura Hanna and Astra Taylor helped spearhead the Rolling Jubilee, a Strike Debt campaign that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it, liberating debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal.… View Project ›

Strike Debt

Strike Debt is an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street that Laura Hanna and Astra Taylor have been active in. With stagnant wages, systemic unemployment, and public service cuts, we are forced to go into debt for the basic things in life while Wall Street profits. Using direct action,… View Project ›


A documentary about the world's most famous philosopher, directed by Astra Taylor and edited by Laura Hanna. This captivating, erudite documentary explores the eccentric personality and esoteric work of this incomparable academic and writer who has been called everything from… View Project ›

Examined Life

A series of contemplative walks with leading theorists including Judith Butler, Peter Singer, Cornel West, Michael Hardt, and others directed by Astra Taylor. Examined Life boldly takes philosophy out of the dark corners of the academy and into the streets, reminding us that… View Project ›


This single originally published in n+1 (Issue 13) asks, "Are schools social levelers or do they reinforce the class pyramid by tracking and sorting children from a young age?" A broad-reaching examination of unusual alternatives to mainstream education in the United States that… View Project ›

Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America

An unofficial record of this movement, Occupy! combines adrenalin-fueled first-hand accounts of the early days and weeks of Occupy Wall Street with contentious debates and thoughtful reflections, featuring the editors and writers of the celebrated n+1, as well as some of the… View Project ›

A Housing Urbanism Made of Waste

Filmmaker Laura Hanna collaborated with Architect Teddy Cruz to create A Housing Urbanism Made of Waste in 2008 for the exhibition Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Here, the short is accompanied by Brent Arnold’s wonderful… View Project ›


Code is a short film with musician Matana Roberts. The short is a companion to this transcribed interview, where we discuss racial profiling, art, code switching and family archives. * http://iammatana.tumblr.com/code *… View Project ›

The Perpetual Peace Project

Kant's Perpetual Peace essay is used as an anchor to explore diplomacy and the current geo-political landscape. The film has been installed in the New Museum, ICA, Utrecht, and screened in philosophy courses at Goldsmiths, Utrecht University, and the International Peace… View Project ›

Hidden Driver


Welcome to our blog!

Shuttleworth Fellowship Announcement

Sep 1 2015

Astra here. I am very pleased to announce that I have been granted a
Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship to continue my work around indebtedness and inequality through my involvement with the Debt Collective. This is an amazing opportunity, and one I'm beyond grateful for.

As our ongoing work with defrauded former students of Corinthian Colleges has shown, The Debt Collective has a tremendous amount of potential. The core team is committed to manifesting that potential to the best of our ability over the coming fellowship year.

You can keep up with our activities on Twitter: twitter.com/0debtzone

And as a debt-themed bonus, here's a link to a short piece I recently did for Vice looking at how debt and austerity impact all of us and our cities, even if we are not individually in the red.