Recent Media Burn Archive blogs

  • Celebrating Nelson Algren’s 106th Birthday

    Saturday marks the 106th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Algren (1909–1981), a writer beloved for his works which often captured Chicago’s grittier underbelly, most notably in The Man With the Golden Arm (1949) and the essay Chicago, City on the Make (1951). His impact went far beyond Chicago, though, and he was respected and read across the globe, perhaps most devotedly in Europe.Although he later moved to Paterson, New Jersey, his love for the down-and-out in Chicago has nonetheless … Continue reading

  • New collection of video art and documentary by Julia Lesage

    New collection of video art and documentary by Julia Lesage

    We’re excited to announce that we have recently acquired and preserved a collection of tapes by videomaker and University of Oregon professor Julia Lesage. This is our first bilingual collection, with most of the tapes available in both Spanish and English. Most of the tapes were shot in Nicaragua during the 1980s, and often focused on how the Sandinista government brought rapid change to the lives of women in the region. The collection also includes two English-only tapes produced at … Continue reading


newest videos

  • Baseball’s Been Very, Very Good To Me: The Minnie Minoso Story

    Baseball’s Been Very, Very Good To Me: The Minnie Minoso Story

    For one week only! Baseball’s Been Very, Very Good to Me: The Minnie Minoso Story from MediaBurnArchive on Vimeo.

  • Chicago’s South Side, election day 1992 with Andrew Jones

    Chicago’s South Side, election day 1992 with Andrew Jones

    Chicago’s mayoral and aldermanic elections were this Tuesday. Now, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his leading opponent, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, prepare for a runoff election, we thought we’d share some footage from Andrew P Jones, shot on Chicago’s South Side during The 90’s Election Special coverage.Although a native Bostonian, Andrew was a devoted and inquisitive correspondent, with a particular passion for black politics in the US. He spent most of election day talking with voters, election judges, and campaign staff … Continue reading

  • Chicago Politics: A Theatre Of Power

    Chicago Politics: A Theatre Of Power

    Collection of revealing scenes of various Chicago politicians. The film focuses mainly on mayors and mayoral candidates of the 1980s including Jane Byrne, Harold Washington, Edward “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak, and Thomas Hynes. In true Chicago style, the looming presence of long-time, now late, mayor of Chicago, Richard J. Daley makes an appearance. Includes some invaluable footage, especially of when Harold Washington’s many speeches. Particularly revealing are scenes of racial upheaval during the time surrounding Harold Washington’s election and mayorship. Continue reading

  • Rescheduled! When Harold Washington Beat the Machine, February 15 @ 4 PM

    As the 2015 Chicago mayoral election approaches, pitting a seemingly unbeatable incumbent against a variety of underdog challengers, join us and our partners at the Black Cinema House for a look at another mayoral election, more than thirty years ago: Harold Washington’s improbable election to become the first African American mayor of Chicago. Three rarely screened films about that election and Washington’s brief tenure as mayor explore the role of racism and entrenched Democratic machine power in that historic era.In … Continue reading

  • Bill Goes to Iowa: Tape 3

    Bill Goes to Iowa: Tape 3

    Camera original footage of the 1996 Iowa caucuses. This tape features footage of the Lamar Alexander and Phil Gramm campaigns in February 1996. Continue reading

  • Remembering Andrew Patner

    Remembering Andrew Patner

    Andrew Patner died suddenly last Tuesday, February 3. He was 55.Andrew had become an old-style Chicago icon, a 21st century version of his dear friend and mentor, Studs Terkel. In this video, produced at the University of Chicago during an Alumni Association event, we get a glimpse of Andrew and Studs together in 2004. After Studs died, Andrew thought it was important that this video be part of Media Burn’s permanent Terkel collection, saying, “It is one of the only … Continue reading

  • [Gang Truce at Cabrini Green]

    [Gang Truce at Cabrini Green]

    A gang truce was negotiated in Cabrini Green following the death of Dantrell Davis. Government officials, law enforcement, and community leaders disagree on whether the gang truce or increased security measures are responsible for the ongoing peace in the project. Continue reading

  • POSTPONED: Remembering Harold Washington

    POSTPONED: Remembering Harold Washington

    Due to inclement weather, today’s screening of “Remembering Harold Washington” at Black Cinema House has been postponed. We’ll send an update when we have a new date. In the meantime, Skippy the snowball has tips on being safe and avoiding tickets during Chicago snowstorms.