Stories of people not listed on Wikipedia

When you support Media Burn, what are you supporting?

We have, over the course of the past 20 years, preserved thousands of tapes and made those videos freely available, sharing the work of artists whose work we love, of activists whose social and political movements we remain deeply committed to, and of communities in Chicago and around the world whose lives and stories would otherwise be lost to history.

Our organization was founded on the rebellious principles of Guerrilla Television, and our belief in those ideals are as strong as they’ve ever been. Media Burn provides an alternative to mainstream media, and, even more than that, an alternative to mainstream history.

On Media Burn, you’ll find stories of people and places not listed in the history books (or even on Wikipedia!), but that were deeply important to their communities. For example:


This is one of several videos in our collection recorded at Chicago’s legendary Club LaRay, one of the city’s most exciting, most creative Black queer dance clubs in the 1980s. These videos document talent shows – featuring early drag performances – but also the hundreds of Chicagoans living it up on the dance floor throughout an entire night’s DJ set, making up some of the best House music mixes you’ll find anywhere.


This video documenting the 1979 Festival de Mujeres features dozens of Latina activists and artists. These women are giants in their community, yet mostly unremembered by the history books. In this video, poet Salima Rivera reads a fierce ode to defying gentrification in Pilsen, while poet Marta Collazo reads an empowering statement about womanhood. It also features famed muralist and art educator Malú Ortega y Alberro describing the mural she is about to paint on the just-opened Benito Juarez Academy High School. 


This short video was made by high school students working with the Community TV Network, interviewing fellow residents of the Robert Taylor Homes while they do their laundry. It’s by turns playful and serious, but is also a rare piece of media that takes seriously the experiences and opinions of members of the Chicago community who aren’t always recorded in the history books. 

Media Burn’s videos have been viewed by more than 25 million people. They’re viewed by supporters and friends. They’re viewed by people curious about the history of their neighborhood or about grassroots political movements. They’re viewed by teachers and students, by artists and filmmakers, by people deeply knowledgeable about video history and by people who have never heard the word “Portapak” before (and likely never will). They’re viewed by Chicagoans who live just down the street from the Media Burn offices and by countless people who discover our videos from the other side of the world. And our audience is growing. 

Please join us today and help us continue this work. We’ve got so many more phenomenal, revelatory videos to share with you in 2024!



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