Allen was at a protest on June 5 in Baltimore organized by demonstrators representing the city’s black, transgender community. Though the protests were held in response to the death of George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis by a city police officer, chants of “Black Trans Lives Matter” were heard from the crowd.
The photograph shows a protester sitting with a megaphone, while other demonstrators lie down on the ground.
“When I found out about the black trans march, I wanted to come out and make sure that their voices can be heard,” Allen says. “I wanted to give them the same energy that I give any protest.”
“You can’t hire me,” Allen said. “I have a moral compass. Most of my work that gets published, I’ve already posted it on Instagram. … I do this stuff because this is what I do. This is my life’s work. I was shooting for myself because that’s what I believe in.”
Through the civil unrest in Baltimore over the past five years, Allen said, “as a photographer, I’ve been there on the front lines.”
“The work that I do is to give voice to my community, any black person,” he said. “I just try to make the work so people can be seen and be heard. … Once the smoke is done, the fire is done, the protests are done, the real work really begins.”
O Instagram de Devin aqui
Just five years ago, Devin Allen was still mired in Baltimore’s drug trade. Now he’s an award-winning street photographer and a social media phenomenon.
Devin Allen didn’t expect to be here. Five years ago, before he found his Leica and his iPhone DXO gear, not only did he have no idea that he’d become a social media phenomenon and get drawn into the art world—he wasn’t even sure he’d still be alive. On a recent brisk fall day, Allen reflected on finding himself at the intersection of Baltimore’s thriving gallery scene, and on his being named this year’s Gordon Parks Foundation fellow, named for the legendary photojournalist who put black life in the living rooms of America over fifty years ago.
Allen, a third generation west Baltimorean, grew up a mere four miles from some of the best universities in the world, but they remained worlds away. He’s unabashed in sharing that before picking up a camera in 2012, he was in the drug trade and “went to some very dark places.” “Where I come from,” he continued, “art isn’t really offered. Some people were doing it, but would always be looked at as being weird.” But with the birth of his daughter, Allen took a job processing financial transactions. “In that cubicle I was dying—I thought this can’t be the rest of my fucking life,” he remembers. When a friend of his, an Iraq veteran, suggested he attend a poetry night, Allen was impressed by the turnout, and continued to pursue Baltimore bohemian life exactly as Instagram rose to prominence, and with it, his nascent photographic practice.
Como escrevemos no post Resistência e fotografia
Fotografar é um ato de resistência!
Fotografia documental, fotografia jornalística, é essa a nossa praia. Nesse mundo virado de cabeça para baixo, a fotografia exerce mais do que nunca o papel fundamental de testemunha. Ela é parceira da ânsia por um mundo mais justo. A fotografia cidadã foi um dos avanços da revolução digital.