Bath Spa student visits University of Parma

Posted on June 22, 2022

Black and white photograph of the CSAC team. ©Sarah Beeusaert

My name is Sarah Beeusaert and I am in my third year at Bath Spa University studying photography. Through GALA I was able to visit Italy for a week at the University of Parma. This was an incredible experience that I was very happy to take part in. After my trip to Milan had been cancelled on Erasmus, I still really wanted to do some sort of exchange because I had my heart set on being able to experience something different. I’m so glad I was able to still do this, even through the uncertainty of Covid.

The reason for my visit to Parma is because they have a photographic archive at a place called CSAC (Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione). This part of the university is hidden away in a field, and to me, is a hidden gem. The archives are an amazing resource that helped to aid my final project for university. My project is on dementia, how people’s memories unravel and how their consciousness is lost. It gave me a whole new perspective and I think sometimes being in the UK, we concentrate only on British artists and photographers. This was a great way to expose myself to so many other influential photographers, that are Italian. The people at CSAC are so friendly and incredibly knowledgeable.

In the centre of Parma there are many side streets full of bars and restaurants. I enjoyed walking down the alleyways, hearing Italian, and smelling the amazing scents of pasta and pizza. The prosciutto is fabulous, and the people of Parma are so kind.

I can highly recommend anyone who has a keen sense of adventure and wants to soak up the research of the archives to go!

All the below photographs are property of Sarah Beeusaert, whose website can be found here.

Black and white photograph of an alleyway in Parma with neon signs strung across it, with words in Italian.  ©Sarah Beeusaert
Black and white photograph of an alleyway in Parma, with a cobbled street and a puddle reflecting a sculpted window. ©Sarah Beeusaert
Photograph of the centre of Parma at the University Square. ©Sarah Beeusaert
Black and white photograph of a view of the river in Parma from the path alongside it. ©Sarah Beeusaert
Black and white photograph of the outside of a stone tower, with bicycles parked in a rack at the base. ©Sarah Beeusaert
Black and white photograph of the CSAC archives, a long corridor of metal drawers. ©Sarah Beeusaert