Dan Edelstyn and Hilary Powell are an artist and film-maker duo based in Walthamstow, London. Bank Job is the story of how they formed a bank, printed their own money, and then bought and destroyed £1.2 million in debt.
It’s an ingenious project that combines art, protest, and community wealth creation, and that somehow manages to be highly ambitious and modestly homespun at the same time.
In raising questions about debt, profit, and the the power imbalances of our economic system, I see echoes of the prophetic tradition too. There’s anger at injustice, the insistence that there are better ways, the challenge of speaking truth the power, and the determination to resist. In its purposeful symbolism, Bank Job explodes the conventional thinking around debt, and declares liberation.
You can catch up with the full story of the project in the documentary Bank Job, which is available in full on Youtube. There’s also a book of the same title, and all sorts of things to explore on the website.