Kartemquin One of Six Institutions Resurrecting the Guerrilla Television Movement

We are excited to announce that Kartemquin is included in a group of six institutions that have received a generous grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The three-year grant provides $459,150 toward digitization of over 1,000 videotapes from the Guerrilla Television Movement. 

Media Burn Archive and University of Chicago’s Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the Regenstein Library are leading this project to preserve and make accessible video history from 1967-1979. Through the grant, we will see preservation and access of numerous at-risk videotapes alongside materials from Media Burn Archive, Appalshop Archive, Community TV Network, Experimental TV Center Collection at Cornell University, and New Orleans Video Access Center.

The grant will effectively form a new "Guerrilla Television Network" which will digitize and share unseen videos created by people who were often excluded from participating in film production and news media, such as Black and Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), women, rural communities, working people, and youth. This work, produced on fragile 50-year-old videotapes, will be rescued from imminent and permanent loss and made viewable for the first time to global audiences.

Media Burn Executive Director Sara Chapman explains, “Some of the most trailblazing and radical documentary work has been unseen outside of local communities. Now is the perfect time to activate these videos for a generation mobilized around celebrating diversity and achieving equity. The project will amplify diverse voices and create a picture of American life that reflects the spectrum of lived experience.”  

See here for more with Sara Chapman: https://abc7chicago.com/media-burn-grant-video-archive-chicago/10503984

The project is one of 16 totaling $4.02 million awarded by CLIR’s Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives program, which is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Media Burn Archive (mediaburn.org) is a nonprofit organization in Chicago that collects, produces, and distributes documentary video created by artists, activists, and community groups. Its mission is to use archival media to deepen context and encourage critical thought through a social justice lens. Founded in 2003 by Tom Weinberg, Media Burn’s online collection of more than 8,000 videos has been viewed more than 20 million times.