January 22, 2014

24 gorgeous photos by Willie J. Allen Jr. in 'Welcome to Bithlo'

 

These photos were taken by the award-winning photojournalist, Willie J. Allen Jr., who was hired by local arts non-profit, ArtReach Orlando, to document the faces, culture and living conditions of Bithlo residents for an installation called the "Welcome to Bithlo" Art Show in August of 2012. The exhibit called attention to the past, present and future of an ignored community in Central Florida by featuring historic photos, Allen's work and children's interpretations of their future through art.

ArtReach Orlando works with under-served communities and organizations to provide free arts programming for at-risk youth. For more information, please go to artreachorlando.org

Photos by Willie J. Allen Jr. http://williejallenjr.com
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Travis climbed up the tree to get a better look at the activity going on below. He was 14 years old at the time of this photograph. August 4, 2012.
Travis climbed up the tree to get a better look at the activity going on below. He was 14 years old at the time of this photograph. August 4, 2012.
August 4, 2012.
August 4, 2012.
An over-turned boat serves as a make-shift jump for Travis and friends. August 4, 2012.
An over-turned boat serves as a make-shift jump for Travis and friends. August 4, 2012.
Aerial acrobatics performed at the dirt bike track in back woods of Bithlo.  The dirt bike track was built by the boys and the main jump was built utilizing the inverted  hull of a boat. August 4, 2012.
Aerial acrobatics performed at the dirt bike track in back woods of Bithlo. The dirt bike track was built by the boys and the main jump was built utilizing the inverted hull of a boat. August 4, 2012.
The boys watch their friends as they take the jumps. August 4, 2012.
The boys watch their friends as they take the jumps. August 4, 2012.
The Lost Boys of Bithlo share a cigarette as they take a break from riding on the dirt bike track. August 4, 2012.
The Lost Boys of Bithlo share a cigarette as they take a break from riding on the dirt bike track. August 4, 2012.
One of the Lost Boys of Bithlo takes a rest at the dirt bike track. August 4, 2012.
One of the Lost Boys of Bithlo takes a rest at the dirt bike track. August 4, 2012.
Travis, Dana and friend watch the aerial tricks of the boys on their bikes. August 4, 2012.
Travis, Dana and friend watch the aerial tricks of the boys on their bikes. August 4, 2012.
Dana watches the neighborhood kids play outside her trailer. Dana is a strong mothering figure in the neighborhood. August 4, 2012.
Dana watches the neighborhood kids play outside her trailer. Dana is a strong mothering figure in the neighborhood. August 4, 2012.
Dana holds her grandchild tight to her chest while resting in her home after a hot afternoon. August 4, 2012.
Dana holds her grandchild tight to her chest while resting in her home after a hot afternoon. August 4, 2012.