A Poem About the White Gaze and the Surveillance of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color: The Looking Glass

By Tuli Chowdhury

The white gaze and how it leads to the surveillance of BIPOC persons. My poem voices how that surveillance serves as an apparatus of willfully ignoring humanity, effectively dehumanizing anyone in its path and depriving an individual of their unique history. Within this poem, the speaker critically analyzes the implications of that gaze and how it serves to victimize and deprive one of their person-hood.


The Looking Glass

I see you see me
through the looking glass
My depths made shallow in your view

I try to show you that
              I exist
outside your imaginative muse

I am the star
I am the light
I am the world outside

but you angle me so
I cannot even know
if outside your gaze, I am alive

The Cracks, the Crevices, the Oceans in between
The Pain, the Shame, the Smiles that gleam

They are voids in your presence
a burlesque, a menace
you cage me in your square lens
ground me in your present

you erase my being, trap me into a looking glass where I am not free
I am not me
rather, I am devolved into what you believe

But what you don’t know is that I emulate life beyond perception
Every day I live I resist
I exist not as a reflection; I reflect what exists

I do not need to be seen
it is you who needs to un-see

Meet the Poet:

Tuli Chowdhury is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, majoring in English and Criminology. She hopes to, in her academic/non-academic pursuits, bring and advocate for happiness for all people and alleviate suffering in the world in any way she can. She has been writing poetry since the age of 12 years old and wants to share this love as she grows older in any way possible.  

Sorjo Magazine

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