This blog chronicles a day by day account of my year traveling around the world studying cemeteries. Each day I post a photo (or two) demonstrating a small moment that I experienced to show what I take away after some “deep hanging out” within another culture. Occasionally I will also write a few words to accompany or explain my images, but as an artist words are not often my strongest skill. I challenge you to deduce your own narratives from what I share. There are small details in images where you may discover something you did not see before… but you have to try to look and see.


Lydia Smith is a recent graduate from Rice University in Houston, TX where she studied Anthropology and Art. She grew up in Chicago and is a current 2015-2016 Watson Fellow traveling the world studying cemeteries as a reflection of culture. In the past she has done similar research in France, the Czech Republic, and England. You can visit her art portfolio at www.lydiasmith.co and contact her at lydrose@gmail.com.

Project Description: A Final Resting Place for History: A Visual Investigation of Cemeteries
Countries: Sweden, Germany, Egypt, Argentina, Australia, and Japan

Cemeteries are rich with information about the culture, history, and politics of their surrounding environment. They are also a constructed landscape found all across the globe in cultures with varying religious beliefs and practices. I wish to visually explore how cemeteries reflect different attitudes towards death in six different countries while engaging with the community that develops in these spaces. As an artist, I hope to be inspired by my travels and communicate them through my practice while documenting my experience.

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