Kaleb Autman

Photographer. Filmmaker. Organizer. Scholar. Writer. Educator. Director. 


Teaching & Speaking




Awards & Grants 

2024 Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Student Award in the Creative Arts 

2024 Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Arts Award

Eddie Adams Workshop (EAW XXXVI) /
Jim Dietz Award / 2024 Team Black 

International Center of Photography / PhotoSlam Family Archive Winner 

First Wave Hip Hop Urban Arts Scholar /
UW Madison  

Public Humanities Exchange for Undergraduates (HEX-U) / UW Madison

Prism Photo Workshop Scholarship 

Hero in the Hood Award - Chicago Defender

True Award -  True Chicago 

Encampment For Citizenship Fellow

George Floyd Social Justice Scholarship - Northeastern Illinois University 


In Our Landscape -
Black Cultural Center UW Madison - April through December 2023 - 

“untitled” -
School of Education Gallery UW Madison - Forthcoming -

Chicago - Madison, WI - International


Restorative & Transformative Justice 

Trauma Based Care (& storytelling) 

Direct Action, Political, & Digital Organizing 

Rapid Response Organizing & Communications  


NYTimes Upfront Mag 
Injustice Watch
The Triibe

US +1 (608) 377 - 5709

Kaleb Bakari Autman 

Bakari meaning  “Nobel Oath” “Promising” 

Kaleb B Autman (02-02-2002) is a creative and communal scientist who studies the impacts of community, culture, consciousness, and commerce on social change. He uses the photograph (still and moving), written word, prepared dish, and documented history to interrogate the world around him.

As a  published documentary photographer and filmmaker, Kaleb has documented pivotal events in recent history and produced a short film about Chicago activism. As a storyteller, Kaleb believes the images artists create must be authentic and rooted in our collective imagination. Kaleb has written for The NYTimes Upfront Magazine, Truthout, Injustice Watch, and In These Times.

As a community organizer and impact strategist, Kaleb has worked to center young people in social change campaigns. He has assisted numerous organized efforts to demand accountability from elected officials and investment in critical social institutions. Some successfully ousted unaccountable politicians while others organized around providing essential goods and services to those who need them.  Kaleb is a core member of the #LetUsBreathe Collective and a founding member of the Westside Cleanup Crew (Westside Artists and Abolitionists)

He has worked with numerous organizations like March For Our Lives (national), Assata's Daughters, Black Youth Project 100, Good Kids Mad City, Social Works Chicago, The Encampment for Citizenship, Chicago Freedom School, and American Friends Service Committee. He has spoken and led workshops with the University of Illinois Social Justice Initiative,  Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law, Incite Conference,  Abolitionist Teaching Network, Haymarket Books, Chicago Humanities Festival.

When not working or overthinking life, you can find Kaleb reading, researching, cooking, and critiquing popular culture.  He is currently an undergraduate student focusing on sociology, law, Africana studies, and public policy/health. He is an alumnus of Chicago Public Schools and Village Leadership Academy.

He owns and operates Kaleb Autman LLC, a documentarian production house based in Chicago. He is available for collaboration and hire at kaleb@kalebautman.com.