With not much for students to do after the ‘rule of six’ took much-anticipated events away, UEA’s Wonderglow festival gave a thought-provoking and other-worldly alternative to staying indoors with housemates. Walking through the campus, a place I have walked through countless times, the lights and neon glows distorted this familiarity into an ethereal place I found hard to recognise.

Cast onto the Music Building, a projection that looked like a contorting Rorschach test danced along the wall to ambient boding whispers. The shapes moved too quickly to comprehend. What it did reflect for me though, was the spontaneous chaos of the world, that changes too rapidly for us to catch.

On my way to the lake, I was greeted by neon octopuses and glow worms held in motion by a transparent frame. I felt light years away, transported to an alien landscape with glowing sea creatures gliding languidly through the air.

I encountered a wooden shack with a sign that read, “Does Capitalism work for you?” One button for “no”. One button for “yes”. I concluded that because I have never lived in a non-capitalist country, it is impossible to assess any impact that non-capitalist systems have had on my life. I hit both, but the ‘no’s’ have it.

Finally, I arrived at a giant, illuminated, revolving planet held suspended in the Sainsbury’s Centre. With a lack of borders, it was difficult to distinguish Wonderglobe’s countries, and I thought about how strange and unnatural borders are. I stared at the undivided and unlabelled chunks of land. This one stood out as a raw look at life’s stage, spinning constantly as if performing just for us.

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Jim Gell

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