Graydon Smith

Graydon Smith

MA student


Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier


Visual anthropology and materiality

My name is Graydon Smith. I grew up in rural eastern Ontario, outside of St. Andrew’s West. I completed my BA at Trent University in 2022, where I did a major in Anthropology and a minor in Sociology. I am in the middle of an MA at UVic under the supervision of Dr. Boudreault-Fournier.

My research uses visual and ethnographic methods to consider Cuban life in the present day, examining themes of hope and the future in a period of dynamic change. Cuba remains in flux following the pandemic and various political changes, which have resulted in a current economic crisis and large waves of emigration. My fieldwork, conducted in the summer of 2023, is guided by the integrative theme of Visual Anthropology and Materiality, incorporating visual methodologies, primarily photography, in a process of representation and consideration of how different viewpoints shape how Cubans view their place in the world in a tumultuous present and an unclear future. 

In my personal life, I enjoy photography and other visual arts, listening to music, collecting retro video games, reading, bouldering, and snowboarding during the winters. I also make dream pop music as a member of Portrait Ghosts, where I pretend to know how to play guitar.