Daniel Salas is a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University. His dissertation is an ethnographic exploration of the politics of value in contemporary rural Cuba. In this study, Daniel analyzes how everyday practices of private farmers, migrant agricultural workers, state representatives, and other residents in the hinterland south of Havana enact and transform moral notions involved in the reconstitution of social selves, community, and the socialist state. Daniel's work interrogates the country's semi-dollarized monetary regime for clues, to understand the dimensions of systemic contradiction, integration and structural blindness that people must negotiate in practice. Looking at the production of food commodities as part of the broader reproduction of rural society, the research registers discrepancies in value practices across class, gender, race and representation; yet it also finds the seeds of democratic valuation networks. Ultimately, Daniel argues that the consolidation of such networks depends on devolving valuation power to communities. This alone cannot solve all the contradictions between disparate standards of value but would put people in a better position to participate in imagining and realizing common dreams.
Daniel holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Havana and a MA in Cuban Cultural Processes from the University of the Arts of Cuba. He worked and taught in the field of communication before coming to Canada to pursue a career in anthropology. Daniel received the Vanier CSG and Killam pre-doctoral scholarships.