Document Type

Student Paper

Publication Date

Spring 2021


African History | African Languages and Societies | Creative Writing | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Poetry | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social Media

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

This poem was written following the attempts of a close friend and myself to create awareness for the ongoing genocide in Tigray, Ethiopia in particular, and in reaction to activism in the age of social media in general. The digital age and related phenomena, such as hashtag activism and cancel culture, has enabled certain social justice movements to gain rapid traction while other equally worthy movements struggle to find a foothold. Simultaneously, standards of accountability and ethics continue to decline among global news media, with non-Western countries such as Ethiopia and my own home country of Sri Lanka bearing the brunt. The poem's title and the use of censor bars allude to the continued power of information blackouts and censorship at all levels, while each section of the poem illustrates the conflicting emotions and issues that arise when attempting to fulfil one's human responsibility to speak up against injustice in the 21st century.


1st Place Winner, 2021