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  • The Whole World is Watching

    Announcing our new weekly video series, The Whole World is Watching Media Burn is expanding on our successful online video productions by creating a new weekly mini-documentary series The Whole World Is Watching. We will harness the power of historical videos to illuminate contemporary culture and politics. It will be free to worldwide audiences, as always. THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING The stories we tell about the world and our country’s past matter. Facts matter. History is being rewritten at … Continue reading

  • Remembering Comedian and Activist Dick Gregory (1932-2017)

    Remembering Comedian and Activist Dick Gregory (1932-2017)

    Dick Gregory died this past Sunday at the age of 84. In 1961, he became the first black comedian in the United States to achieve crossover success with white audiences. After three years as the emcee at the black-owned Roberts Show Club in Chicago, Hugh Hefner hired Gregory as a last-minute sub at the Playboy Club, propelling him into the national spotlight. From the start of his career, Dick Gregory was active in the civil rights movement. He used his … Continue reading

  • 72 Years After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, The Threat of Nuclear War Continues

    72 Years After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, The Threat of Nuclear War Continues

    The Brutality of Nuclear War and Humanity’s Struggles Against It Seventy-two years ago this month, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the people of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, killings hundreds of thousands and expanding the horizon of humanity’s capacity for destruction. Since the inception of nuclear weapons, individuals and social movements have fought to curtail the threat of nuclear war and denounce the inhumanity and absurdity of living under the constant threat of total annihilation. Especially now, as world leaders … Continue reading

  • Happy 50th Birthday to the Chicago Picasso

    Happy 50th Birthday to the Chicago Picasso

    Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Chicago Picasso In 1967, Mayor Richard J. Daley stood in the courtyard of the Chicago Civic Center and unveiled a fifty-foot tall metal structure, a public art piece designed by Pablo Picasso and given to the people of Chicago. While initially met with scorn and confusion, the sculpture has, over the years, become an iconic and admired feature of downtown Chicago. This collection of clips taken from the Media Burn Archive features Studs Terkel, … Continue reading

  • Milly’s Orchid Show 30th anniversary July 29th

    Milly’s Orchid Show 30th anniversary July 29th

    Three Decades of Cutting-Edge Cabaret Milly May Smithy is the alter ego of performer and musician Brigid Murphy. Since 1987, Murphy, as Milly, has hosted Milly’s Orchid Show, a variety show featuring an eclectic blend of music, dance, comedy and high art. The showcase introduced audiences in Chicago and around the country to performers including the Blue Man Group, David Sedaris, Emo Philips, and Nora Dunn. This Saturday, July 29, Milly’s Orchid Show will be making its return to Park … Continue reading

  • Chicago Slices – A Slice of Summer 1993

    Chicago Slices – A Slice of Summer 1993

    Chicago Slices was a local television series we produced 24 years ago. They were half-hour programs with four minutes of commercials, broadcast on independent channel 50, now owned by Fox TV. We created it to show interesting and offbeat local characters in short videos. As with many of the pioneering programs archived on Media Burn, it was an audience, critical and artistic success, but wasn’t financially viable for commercial television. Here’s a small slice of Chicago Slices from 1993. Watch the … Continue reading

  • Why we save raw tapes

    Why we save raw tapes

    Media Burn has over 7,000 videos. Thousands are RAW TAPES, camera original video from the day and time it was produced. It’s rare for anyone besides the producer to ever get a chance to see the raw tapes. That’s one of the underlying principles of what we do. Raw tapes show and tell historical context. Almost always, dozens of hours (sometimes hundreds) of videos are shot for a 30 or 60 minute edited version. We preserve the camera original videos … Continue reading

  • Video pioneer Annette Barbier (1950-2017)

    Video pioneer Annette Barbier (1950-2017)

    The video community has lost one of its pioneers. Annette Barbier passed away last week. Her art and her impact were legendary since the 1970s, when she was among the first video artists at the Chicago Editing Center. Annette mentored hundreds in her years at Northwestern University and Columbia College. She was one-of-a-kind and a Chicago icon. Our hearts go out to Drew and Celine. So many of us are shocked and deeply saddened. Here’s a look at Annette’s “Bouncing … Continue reading