2020: The year in photos

By the Rtvsrece visuals team

Dec. 28, 2020


A global pandemic shut down many aspects of our lives. Demonstrations calling for racial justice filled our streets. A contentious election consumed our attention. This past year has proven to be a nearly nonstop drumbeat of news.

Throughout 2020, Rtvsrece’s visual team and local freelancers have documented this historic year from our corner of the world in Pittsburgh. While big — often breaking — news stories have dominated much of this year, we’ve also directed our cameras toward critical and often overlooked issues such as environmental health, tenants’ rights and the accessibility of our city for people with disabilities.

Below are several of our favorite photos from 2020.

Devin McClain in a black and grey jacket leaning against a brick wall.

On Aug. 17, 2019, residents of the De Ruad Street apartments in West Oakland watched their homes go up in flames. Rtvsrece checked in with four of the 20 De Ruad Street households over the six months following the fire. Some residents described the assistance they received as slow in coming and not enough to make up for all that they lost. That meant their lives were in limbo for weeks or months. Here, former De Ruad Street resident Devin McClain is photographed outside his former apartment building in January.

(Photo by Jay Manning/Rtvsrece)

People walking along Butler Street in Lawrenceville near Row House Cinema holding hands, in face masks.

People walk along Butler Street in Lawrenceville near Row House Cinema on March 18, where a marquee sign reads, “We will get through this Pittsburgh.”

(Photo by Ryan Loew/Rtvsrece)

People in cars waiting in line for their rations of food donations on a road next to a river surrounded by green grass.

People waiting in line for their rations of food donations from the Great Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in Duquesne on April 6. Wait times were around two hours while members of the local National Guard assisted food pantry staff.

(Photo by Nick Childers/Rtvsrece)

Two protesters in face masks wrap a Black Lives Matter flag around another protester at a protest on a street where many people hold signs.

Alexis Mighty (left) and Huny (right) help tie a Black Lives Matter flag on Lorenzo Rulli (center) at the start of a protest on June 28 in McKees Rocks.

(Photo by Ryan Loew/Rtvsrece)

Protesters hold signs, including one that says We Are Human, and national guard in the foreground.

As protests over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police rocked cities all across the United States, thousands of protesters gathered in downtown Pittsburgh on May 30.

(Photo by Nick Childers/Rtvsrece)

A child in a red shirt writes in chalk on a sidewalk at a protest in Pittsburgh.

Protestors chalk names of those killed by police violence during June 6 Civil Saturdays demonstration in Bakery Square.

(Photo by Jay Manning/Rtvsrece)

Fran Flaherty lies in the grass outside her Hampton Township home.

Fran Flaherty lies in the grass outside her Hampton Township home. Flaherty wrote a first-person piece titled, “We are experiencing a cultural reset, and we must include Deaf and Disability culture in our discussions of change” as part of a collaborative project by Rtvsrece and Unabridged Press on the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

(Photo by Ryan Loew/Rtvsrece)

Brenda Tate and her aunt embrace on a couch.

Brenda Tate (right) and her aunt Margaret Watson at Tate’s home in the Hill District. Tate reflected on anti-racism protests across the United States and how they compared to the turmoil of 1968 she witnessed in the Hill District.

(Photo by Jay Manning/Rtvsrece)

A person in a hijab with an American flag print and a face mask that says election protection.

Christine Mohamed, executive director of the Pittsburgh office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Pittsburgh), outside of a polling place in Clairton on Election Day.

(Photo by Ryan Loew/Rtvsrece)

People hold Pennsylvania for Biden signs, some wear Black Vote Matters signs.

Pittsburgh residents celebrate the announcement that Joe Biden had won the presidency after Pennsylvania was called for him on Nov. 7.

(Photo by Nick Childers/Rtvsrece)

Two East Pittsburgh officials stand on a hill in jackets in front of the Edgar Thomson Steel Works.

East Pittsburgh Councilwoman Stacey Simon and borough manager Seth Abrams photographed on a hillside overlooking the Edgar Thomson Steel Works on Jan. 27.

(Photo by Ryan Loew/Rtvsrece)

A person in a mask that says Senior 2020 It’s About to Get Real.

Attallah Moore graduated from the Neighborhood Academy last spring. Photographed on May 20, Moore had said she planned to celebrate her high school graduation at her house.

(Photo by Ryan Loew/Rtvsrece)

A police car burning on a Pittsburgh street amid a protest.

On May 30, thousands of protestors gathered in downtown Pittsburgh, part of a national protest movement after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. The demonstration was largely peaceful before being marked by acts of vandalism, police deployment of less-lethal weapons and a curfew.

(Photo by Jay Manning/Rtvsrece)

A man in a mask rides a bike across a Pittsburgh bridge.

A cyclist wearing a face mask crosses the Smithfield Street Bridge on April 29.

(Photo by Ryan Loew/Rtvsrece)

Volunteers in face masks wait for cars to arrive amid the boxes of food they will distribute into the trunks and backseats of cars

Volunteers in face masks wait for cars to arrive amid the boxes of food they will distribute into the trunks and backseats of cars at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank's emergency drive-up food distribution in Duquesne on April 6.

(Photo by Kimberly Rowen/Rtvsrece)

A protestor holds a candle and wears a face mask.

On June 12, Rashod Brown (center) and others held candles outside of the apartment building in McKeesport where Aaliyah Johnson lived. Johnson, a transgender Black woman in her early 30s, died on May 26 after falling from her apartment window.

(Photo by Ryan Loew/Rtvsrece)