October 29, 2021

What Do You See, When You Look at Me?

Halima Russell

PoetryBut Where Are You Really from?, 2021

I often don’t fit into other people’s parameters of what a mixed race person should look like. This piece was written in response to being asked how I experienced the world as a multi racial individual. At a very young age I was forced to notice my ‘otherness’ which left me with a lingering estrangement due to the duality and complexity of my heritage. I have often felt I was too white to be Moroccan and too brown to be Scottish. My work hints at the subtleties of everyday racism. As a mixed person you navigate and are privy to a space where your ethnic background is not always readily apparent. You are allowed glimpses into that dark world shrouded in hatred. My piece explores the marginalised space between not being white or brown enough; examining themes of racism, identity and belonging. It is a thought provoking piece based on my personal lived experiences. My aim is to take the reader on a journey with me, for my piece to resonate and make the reader pause, even for a moment. I hope that in doing so, it challenges the reader to reflect, reassess and rethink their preconceived notions of race.