Devin Allen Uses Photography to Uplift His Baltimore Community

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The Maryland photographer, Devin Allen, will have his first solo show in Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture starting July 10th. After his shocking photo of Baltimore after the Freddie Gray shooting made the cover of Time magazine, huge interest sparked about his work. Allen is only the third amateur photographer to have his work on the cover of Time magazine, and is using this opportunity to bring his community-driven art to a broader audience.

After dedicating his Instagram account to the events taking place in Baltimore, his images of the protest caught the attention of viewers around the world. “I figured, this being my community, I need to document this, this is our history,” he told the New York Times. Allen now will showcase more of his works in the museum, taking the next step in the visibility of his art.

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Protesters on St. Paul Street, Baltimore. Photo by Devin Allen

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A father and son during a protest. Photo by Devin Allen

When documenting the events in Baltimore, Allen was certain to use his lens as a member of the neighborhood to show the reality of the moment. “Mr. Allen said he wanted to be part of the conversation, to ensure the full story was told by someone who understood the community.”

But his outreach goes farther than his Instagram account, and Allen is taking steps to begin a youth photography program in Baltimore. With a personal goal of highlighting the vibrant arts community in Baltimore, he hopes the program will give the youth in the area a chance to tell their own stories with tools they command themselves.

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A police officer speaking with protestors. Photo by Devin Allen

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Protesters on St. Paul Street, Baltimore. Photo by Devin Allen

“I want to teach kids that they can do whatever they want to do because I was in their shoes at one point in time.” He hopes to show a more cohesive image of a city with such a vibrant culture and history, while also remaining faithful to the reality of the lives he represents in his art.

For more information and photos visit Lens Blog – The New York Times

Devin Allen: Awakenings, In a New Light:

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History

July 10 – December 7, 2015

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