Bonfire Media Collective is a worker-owned cooperative video production company telling human stories that catalyze social change. Many of the founders came together as collaborators on community media productions with Media Mobilizing Project (now Movement Alliance Project), an organization rooted in the belief that movements begin with the telling of untold stories.
Media-making is an industry often plagued by low wages, inconsistent work, and long, grueling hours. Recognizing this, and dreaming of a more equitable, sustainable model, Bonfire’s founders participated in PACA’s 20 Book Clubs → 20 Cooperative Businesses program. In 2018, with support from a successful crowdfunding campaign, Bonfire Media Collective officially launched.
So, what is Bonfire up to now? They just produced the video for Safety We Can Feel — a survey project through which community members can tell city leaders which important programs and services they believe need more investment for a safer Philadelphia. (Psst, if you haven’t yet, take the survey!) Bonfire is also working on a video series with Amistad Law Project on why community members want to #DefundThePolice, and exploring partnerships with Meerkat Media, thanks to a connection through Good Pitch Local.
And that’s not all! As organizations and movements continue adapting to doing our critical work in the pandemic, Bonfire has been cooking up some fee-for-service offerings to help. Get in touch with Bonfire to book your training(s) on:
- Storytelling 101
- Virtual facilitation 101
- How to start your own media co-op
- Technical facilitation for virtual events
PACA continues to support Bonfire, as they have received a loan through the Seed Commons, for which we are a lending member. We are so proud of their client work, though we also want to lift up their internal work, too! While Bonfire’s worker-owners all do videography and editing, they divvy up other functions of the business, like intake, financial management, and marketing. Figuring out ways to share work—and with it, decision-making power and internal communication—isn’t always easy, but their commitment to each other and to the project of operating a democratic workplace remains their guiding north star.
Cheers to you, Bonfire Media Collective!