Looking at Spain


Charlotte Hampton '26 reflects on the little moments captured through her camera during her summer study abroad program — the LSA in Santander, Spain.

The following is an excerpt from Charlotte Hampton's article, 'Photo Essay: Looking at Spain.'

On June 16, I departed for my study abroad program—the LSA in Santander, Spain—with Dartmouth. When I left, my sister sent me an article in The New Yorker called "The Case Against Travel" by Agnes Callard. It describes time abroad as a manner of "obscuring from view the certainty of annihilation" and tricking oneself into believing we are growing. After reading this piece—which describes travel as "preparation for death"—I was suddenly self-conscious. I hugged my parents goodbye and boarded the plane for Madrid.

In the air, I tried to vindicate myself: I was going to Spain to study and learn a language, not remain a passive outsider. But it didn't make me feel better that I had recently bought myself a Nikon FE from 1982. The camera bag slung around my neck reminded me that I was like every traveler Callard identified—motivated by "trinkets and photos." 

Click here to read the full article.