Silver Sands

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Photography and Film

First Advisor

Mark Boulos

Second Advisor

Sonali Gulati

Third Advisor

Nicole Killian


Silver Sands is a thirty-minute documentary film and accompanying installation that traces the story of Marc Hampton, a gay, desert-dwelling Vietnam vet, former Playgirl model, and vintage car collector who lost two lovers to AIDS. Drawing on videotaped interviews, shots of his house and environs, and extensive use of his personal photographic archive, this work addresses evolving ideas of memory and representation within the queer community. The film is divided into various chapters which function as meditations on masculinity, aging, loss, spirituality and intergenerational relationships. Marc becomes an archetypal figure––the survivor––whose meandering recollections illustrate some of the complexities of gay experience in the past fifty years, and the difficulty of historicizing them. By emphasizing overlooked stories and forgotten spaces, exploring the tension between visibility and invisibility, and summoning the ghosts of the AIDS era, Silver Sands proposes remembering as a form of resistance.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Wednesday, May 08, 2024