Growing up in the Bronx, my neighborhood with a majority Black and Latinx population has become victim to surveillance by local and federal government agencies. It is evident that the communities being surveilled are home to critically underserved people. Whether it’s NYPD helicopters, security cameras, or ICE agents, paranoia comes with these oppressive forces watching us. My project incorporates elements of portraiture and documentary photography, exploring my view of surveillance as a device used to observe and depict us. Through harsh lighting, I establish a spotlight to reflect the feeling of being under constant watch. My work critiques the treatment of underserved communities, and the fear caused by racially and economically motivated surveillance. Through my photographs, I call out the hypocrisy of our government, as it seems we’re only seen through a security monitor.
Steven Tovar is an artist from the Bronx, who creates work influenced by his identity and upbringing. His photographs focus on the injustices affecting his community. A student at the International Center of Photography, Steven has presented on a panel with NYU at Photoville and has been published by The New York Times.