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EXETERA A lighter alternative for Exeter University | Issue 16 | FREE


DREAM edition

Exetera Magazine

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR I am not a terribly punctual person, but I never thought that I’d be late for my own funeral. I also never knew that old ladies lived in toadstools, or that pirate ships anchored beneath the roots of an oak tree. But, I suppose anything is possible in the Land of Nod. William Dement, founder of the Sleep Research Centre at Stanford University, holds that “dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives”. Every night’s sleep gives you the chance to escape into another realm that exists in the far-reaching corners of your mind only, a world which is incomprehensible to anyone other than yourself. The images that flick across your eyelids are impossible to translate, yet remain imprinted in your mind for days after. For one night only we are submerged into a peripheral existence, distanced from the rational core of society, which may never occur the same way twice in a whole lifetime of sleeping. In this edition, you will catch a glimpse of this enigmatic layer of consciousness as our creative writers pull you into the depths of their unconscious. Through poetry, flash fiction and unedited dream sequences, they attempt to capture the sensation of awakening from turbulent dreams. An interview with a young British filmmaker reveals the importance of having a real dream after university, and others explore the threshold between memory and hallucination. You’ll also find a handy guide to better sleep, and you may even read back a dream you had not so long ago in our anonymous student dreams feature. So switch off your screens, clear out your mind, take a deep breath. You are about to enter into a world of not so pure imagination. We would like to thank the College of Humanities Annual Fund and the Hijacked family for their financial support for this edition. This has allowed us to keep the Exetera Dream alive: to give a voice to creative students across the university in a free and independent magazine. Special thanks to Thomas Hanks for his creative guidance, and to his beautiful wife Kate, who sat in a bath fully clothed for us for our shoot. And finally, thank you to our wonderful contributors, who have shared with us the most intimate constitution of their being: the moment between unconsciousness and waking.


The Dream Edition


Exetera Magazine

EDITOR Lily Plume DEPUTY EDITORS Clemmie Melvin & Luke Bromage-Henry CREATIVE DIRECTOR Imogen Hayward SALES & MARKETING Charis Skafida PHOTOGRAPHY Imogen Hayward & Thomas Hanks DESIGN Lily Plume & Imogen Hayward COPY EDITOR Alexendra Kanovsky CONTRIBUTORS Max Benwell Georgie Day Stu Duggal Annabel Fraser Charlie Gooch Imogen Hayward Cat Ingledow Lucie Le Bon Booty Lloyd Emelia Faye MacDonald Clemmie Melvin Lucy Munday Lucy Osler Inez Padiachy Lily Plume Victoria Pownall Stephanie Romiszewski Charis Skafida Lydia Spencer-Elliott Ella Tritton Scarlett Watkins Esenya Williams Luke Williams 4

The Dream Edition

CONTENTS The American I-wish-it-was-a-Dream by Stu Duggal | 06 Wolves of Montréal by Emelia Faye MacDonald | 10 Interview with the filmmaker of The Frozen Road by Lily Plume | 12 The Moon and I by Charlie Gooch | 19 The Dream Painter by Luke Williams | 20 You can’t repeat the past by Lydia Spencer-Elliott | 22 Untitled by Charis Skafida | 24 Dream Sequences by Victoria Pownall, Ella Tritton and Scarlett Watkins | 26 Anonymous Student Dreams by Exeter University students | 30 Read it and Sleep: A Sleep Guide from Exetera’s Sleep Expert by Stephanie Romiszewski & Clemmie Melvin | 32 Midnight Man by Esenya Williams | 34 How does it feel to remember a dream? by Booty Lloyd | 35 Frontières by Lucie Le Bon | 36 Sweet dreams are made of cheese by Georgie Day & Imogen Hayward | 38 A Note from Our Founder: The Exetera Dream by Max Benwell | 39

GET IN TOUCH We’re looking for writers and creative types to join our team. If this sounds like you, contact us at Submissions: FOLLOW US Facebook: Exetera Magazine Instagram: @exetera 5

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The American I-wishit-was-a-Dream.

Bozeman Montana | USA | 45°40’ 46” N - 111°02’ 18” W


The Dream Edition

words by Stu Duggal

photography by Imogen Hayward

he chances are that most of you reading this woke up at least twice in the last 18 months, checked your phone, and deliriously hoped that you were still dreaming. In the first instance, save for you Brexiters out there, there was a mood of indignation, and beyond that, disbelief. After more than 40 years of relatively harmonious EU membership, we had finally had enough. We wanted our freedom, our independence. We wanted to take back control and the “£350 million” that came with it. For months, our much maligned decision was endlessly discussed and debated around the world. It was nigh on impossible to have a conversation with any non-Brit without being asked that unavoidable question: “Oh so you’re from the UK? What do YOU think about Brexit?”

succeeding in pushing those seeking the ‘American Dream’ out. His most recent area of immigration-based cuts targeted the aptly named ‘Dreamers’ - migrants who entered the US illegally as children and continue to reside there - and the Obama era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) act which provides protection to that particular echelon of US society, roughly 800,000 people. Trump initially scrapped the program back in September, however enforcement was deferred until at least March in order to give time for a replacement plan to be constructed. Fortunately for the ‘Dreamers’, who are predominantly of Mexican and Latin American origin, at the beginning of January a US judge blocked Trump’s attempt, ordering it to be maintained on a nationwide basis.

But do not fear, for our position at the epicentre of global political discussion was short lived. Five months later, in what can only be described as archetypal American behaviour, we would be ousted by our transatlantic counterparts with a bigger, bolder, and infinitely-regrettable fuck up. Enter Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States. The final nail in the ‘covfefe’ of the American Dream.

Will Trump’s ever changing political entourage manage to sway him away from his $20 billion plans for a Troy-esque border wall? Despite a reduction of its planned size to cover roughly 1300km of the 3100km border, the cost of the wall has increased by $8 billion compared to his initial “estimations” of $10-12 billion. One can only assume that one night during his campaign run, whilst relaxing in Trump Tower in front of re-runs of The Apprentice with Melania, he asked her to count as high as she possibly could and then added a token ‘billion’ to it. Above all, the insanity of Trump’s most publicised and ridiculed campaign promise is in reenforcing one of the most policed borders in the world. As UAV technology progresses, US Border Security confirmed in 2012 that it was considering potential domestic applications for miniature blimps armed with multiple high resolution cameras, known as the ‘Kestrel’, designed to remotely police areas such as the US-Mexico border. Pair this with North Dakota’s passing of Bill 1328 in August 2015 allowing the use of non-lethal weapons such as tear gas and tasers to be attached to enforcement drones, and the outlook for future border security in America is bleak (watch Black Mirror season 4 episode 5 for a visualised preview).


James Truslow Adams first prophesised the notion of the ‘American Dream’ in his 1931 book Epic America, in which he described “the dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man.” Since then, it has become the mantra of all those who believe in limitless social and economic prosperity in the land of opportunity. It is based on this very idea that millions of migrants have made the arduous and expensive journey to the US, into the heart of western capitalism, in search of a better life for themselves and their family. And journey they did. Today, the US plays host to roughly 19% of the world’s immigrants, numbering around 47 million in 2015; staggering figures for a country that has elected what appears to be one of the least migrant-friendly heads of state that we have seen in a long time.

The sad reality of the administration’s continued beefing up of the US-Mexico border is that it only reinstates its exploitative relationship with countries south of this physical line. Its main purpose serves to delineate the difference between the US and others; minimum wage in Mexico currently stands at the equivalent of $4.71 per day, however cross the border into Texas and one can expect a minimum of $7.25 per hour. The willingness of US manufacturing firms to exploit this differ

The Trump administration’s continual efforts to tighten the belt around North America’s metaphorical midriff reflects the similarly tight belt in his personal life - allegedly he has narrowed his diet to consist largely of McDonalds out of a paranoid fear of being poisoned, fuelling a supposed 100lb weight gain in the last year. However, whilst the latter belt is losing the battle to keep the belly in, the former is violently


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ence in the form of the Mexican maquiladoras used to produce and assemble goods allows them to boost their profits with total disregard for the social consequences. Evidently many large corporations, who are the financial winners in many of Trump’s policies, are happy to accept the fruits of Mexican labour, just so long as that is the only thing to make the journey north.

made over recent years. He is in fact the pussy-grabbing embodiment of the problem at the heart of the #MeToo movement. As the American people mobilise against the power structures that have pervaded the country for centuries, the white and wealthy epitome of the issue is twiddling his thumbs in the Oval Office, wondering what to tweet next.

This is not to say, however, that these anti-immigrational sentiments run deep through the heart of contemporary American society. On the contrary, Clinton’s winning of the popular vote would suggest that the majority of Americans didn’t ever align with Trump’s immigration policy. Indeed, walk around Portland and it is hard to miss the multitude of signs posted in shop windows that advocate the welcoming, liberal mind-set of many Oregonians. This opposition to the Trump ideology partly falls under the greater schema of Cascadia Now, a secessionist movement that looks to separate parts of Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho and British Columbia from the rest of the US and Canada. In its most conservative interpretation, this bioregion would comprise a population of slightly more than 16 million people, producing more than $675 billion worth of goods and services annually.

And so what does this mean for the American Dream? Equal opportunity in America is far from thriving. Egregious abuses of the free market devoid of any moral responsibility seriously contradict the idea of life being “richer and fuller for every man”. In the 21st century we have witnessed the sickening growth of pharmaceutical companies, such as Purdue Pharma with their time-released drug OxyContin, that brazenly marketed prescription opioids without considering the potential side effects. Meanwhile 42,000 US citizens, originating largely from the impoverished Rust Belt of Appalachia, died from opiate drug overdoses in 2016, often fuelled by their initial addiction to prescription painkillers. Today the Sackler family, who sit on the $14 billion fortune of the profits of OxyContin, have wings named after them at hospitals, the Louvre, and the New York Met. They have a dedicated Sackler museum at Harvard University, and Sackler institutes at the University of Edinburgh and Kings College London. One of the

“As the American people mobilise against the power str uctures that have pervaded the countr y for centuries, the white and wealthy epitome of the issue is twiddling his thumbs in the Oval Office, wondering what to tweet next” original Sackler brothers even received a British knighthood.

Within 24 hours of Trump’s election to presidency on 8th November 2016, we saw the submission of a petition for Oregon to secede from the US, although it was later withdrawn. One of the prevailing theories surrounding Trump is that, for all his despicable qualities, his political incompetence means that the majority of his plans never come into fruition, or are short lived. Thus Trump can be likened to a very small dog who barks uncontrollably as the postman walks up the path, but then proceeds to cower under the kitchen table the moment the door opens. However, whilst it is true his first travel ban of January 2017 was blocked by federal courts on the basis of it being unconstitutional, after several revisions it was finally allowed to go into full effect at the end of the year. And just like that, he transforms from the small, spineless dog with a bad comb-over into a powerful, law-making hound… with a bad comb-over.

Do you think I have painted a bleak picture? You’re right, I have. The American Dream may, for now, remain unattainable, but that is not to say that all hope is lost. In 3 years time the American people will have the chance to vote again. Perhaps the US needed this, a sort of proverbial dark night before the dawn of realisation. Whilst the symbolism of the election of Barack Obama is presented as doing wonders for equality in America, it remains an unquantifiable measure of his impact. The figures, however, tell a different story. After having campaigned to protect the “noble” and “courageous” acts of whistleblowers, Obama prosecuted more government ‘leakers’ than all the previous US administrations combined. He carried out ten times more air strikes than the Bush Administration under the banner of the ‘war on terror’, and deported more people than the sum of all the presidents of the 20th century. To an extent, Trump’s election was the ugly, yet logical progression to the gradual decline that America has been undergoing over the last few decades, and maybe, just maybe, it will awaken the American people to what is going on. Or better yet, we’ll just wake up full stop.

Even if we concede that he is largely ineffectual in the governing of the country, there is a greater risk for America here, and that lies in precisely what Trump stands for. Above all, the current President represents the antipathy to the progress against social and racial injustice that the country has


The Dream Edition

‘American Dream’ illustration by Cat Ingledow

‘Space Man’ illustration by Inez Padiachy


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Wolves of Montréal words by Emelia Faye MacDonald

photography by Lucy Munday

His high rise apartment in Vieux-Montreal had a wall on its far left side that consisted entirely of windows, three large vertical panels from the ceiling to the cheaply carpeted floor. She wasn’t surprised to find upon her arrival that he’d pushed the small dining table right up against it, so that in the morning he could eat whilst spying on the salary-men and students on their way to work. He’d always been a people watcher, like a bird in its nest. Unsurprisingly, in the evening he’d eat dinner and stare through the glass at the goings on in the offices of the building opposite. It was after one such evening that she heard them for the first time. He’d retired from the table to the bed, but the sheer magnitude of the windows drew her to what they framed, and she got caught up in watching drunk pedestrians attempt to manoeuvre the fast late night drivers, her cheek pressed against the glass. It was hardly perceptible at first, a low continuous wailing in the far distance, but the wind brought it closer until it was brushing against the window pane.
 “What was that?” she asked, suddenly straightening herself in her chair and turning to face him. “What was what?” he replied, not looking up from the book on the economics of deception he’d laid open on his lap. The wail came again, louder this time, in a long whistling howl, an impossible sound. This time he raised his head. “Ah, that’s just the ambulances,” he said, returning to his reading. “Ambulances? It doesn’t sound like ambulances.” “What do you think it sounds like?” “It sounds like living things, not machines.” She turned back to the window. Too strange to be human sounds and too potent to be dying sounds. “They sound like wolves,” she said, and they both sat listening to the sounds pierce the silence and then gradually fade away. “How awful. It’s bad enough that it’s an ambulance, but sounding like that too...” She shuddered a little, bringing her knees close to her chest. “Come to bed, you’ll catch a cold if you sit there for too long,” he retorted, patting the space beside him. He must have sensed that she was unsettled because he attempted to explain, like always: “The sounds are distorted because of how high up we are, and how compactly spaced all the buildings have been built. Besides, there aren’t any wolves near the city, and there haven’t been for hundreds of years.” That night, however, she dreamt of colossal wolves, a whole pack of them, casting their shadows high onto the sides of buildings and far out onto the empty streets. In the dark, the city became an immense forest that belonged solely to them, and together they went hunting. Obscured, in their element, they went mostly unseen, save for a sudden flurry of movement along the rooftops, or the ghosting of blackness across the window that goes unanswered for. They were the nightmare wolves that picked off the old, the young, the sick and the slow. They took the bodies from the sidewalks and outside of front doors, lost forever. They searched the loneliest gardens and back alleys, haunting the parks with their great, yellow eyes like headlamps in the gloom. Then, after the kill, they would carry their vast shapes back to where they came from, somewhere unknown, their tails whispering along the concrete, leaving nothing behind but their terrible lingering voices.


The Dream Edition

“The wail came again, louder this time, in a long whistling howl, an impossible sound.�


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The Frozen Road


The Dream Edition

After graduating from Durham University in 2014, Ben Page decided to throw caution to the wind and embark upon a two-wheeled epic journey across the globe. After three years on the road, he had cycled through some of the world’s most extreme environments – from the searing heat of the Atacama Desert to the unforgiving emptiness of the Canadian Arctic, one of the world’s last great wildernesses. In his debut award-winning film ‘The Frozen Road’, he seeks an adventure of perfect solitude, only to discover the harsh truths of travelling alone through such a forbidding landscape. Speaking with Exetera’s Lily Plume and Imogen Hayward, Ben Page reveals the glorious highs of solitude and the concurrent lows of loneliness, making his ride across the Arctic as much of a journey within as it was out to the unknown. 13

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Has cycling around the world always been a dream of yours? Yeah, it’s been a dream since my late teenage years and it kind of became more of a reality when I was stuck in lecture halls at university, dreaming of being somewhere else. It was during that period that I said to myself for certain that I was going to at least attempt it.

live on for three years, but I even came back with some left over, so when your only cost is food and visas things can be quite cheap. In the film, you speak about the philosophical side of the solitude you experienced during your journey across the Arctic. It’s clear to see that it was a struggle, both physically and mentally. What was it like spending so much time alone? The overarching theme of the film is solitude versus loneliness, which was something that was quite pronounced up there. The landscape is so vast and the dangers and difficulties are so stark that it can feel quite lonely up there when things start to go

What was it like breaking the convention of getting a job straight after graduating? Did you ever wonder if you were doing the right thing? Yeah I certainly did wonder whether I was doing the right thing. Most of my friends ended up becoming accountants or lawyers or working in the civil service, kind of more conventional paths to follow after university, so breaking that mould was quite different within my friendship group. But I didn’t experience many hurdles from friends and family. Most people could see the worth in going off around the world on a bike for a few years. But there were a lot of moments during the trip, a lot of low moments, where I was looking back to the 9 to 5 jobs that people were doing at home, and I was looking at them almost as something enviable. But I quickly caught myself, telling myself to stop thinking like that.

“when I was going down the Peel River a snowstorm arriv pack of wolves somewhere

How much of the route did you plan in advance? Oh I planned absolutely nothing! I’m terrible at planning. When I set off I knew roughly where Ushuaia was and I knew a world map a little bit, but beyond that travelling by bike is not such an extreme way to travel. The road rolls rather slowly and things change, so if you have any fixed plans it just becomes difficult when you’re suddenly faced with having to change them. I just kind of let the road decide where I went.

wrong. On the flipside, the solitude – the good aspect of being alone – was really strong too. I had some incredible moments on my own where I could really appreciate where I was and the landscape I was in. The knowledge that you’re the only person for hundreds and hundreds of miles around is so rare for most people in life, so to have the opportunity to experience that is something I’d really recommend to anybody. Obviously, to have those big highs you’ve got to have concurrent big lows as well. I’d learned over the previous year that you’ve got to ride the lows knowing that the highs will come. I guess when the low moments do hit you, you’ve just got to remember that it’s only going to be transient, and that the high moments are just as transient too, so just that knowledge that all these emotional rollercoasters are momentary and you can get through them.

How did you manage to budget for it all? I was on somewhere between $3 and $5 a day for the whole trip. I saved up a good chunk of my student loan during my studies, and I also had various part time and full time jobs before and after university. So I managed to save up around £9,000 and I kind of knew that living in a tent was a pretty cheap way to exist, so it would easily cover the costs of going around the world. Although, in addition to that there was also the cost of flights and visas, and midway through my camera broke so that was a bit of an expense. But overall money wasn’t too much of a hurdle. It sounds like quite a small amount to

The cinematography is incredible – you get the impression that there’s a whole film crew following you around but I know this wasn’t the case! How did you go about filming everything yourself? Was it a challenge to get everything on film whilst coping with the extreme weather conditions? Yeah it was definitely challenging. When I first set off I’d never really used a camera before, but I thought it would be such a wonderful way to document all the things I would see and the places I would go to. As I was riding up through South America I was teaching myself to take photos, videos, and edit films. So when I concocted this idea of cycling up to the Arctic,


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it seemed like the perfect creative challenge to make a film out of this journey as well as the physical challenge of just doing it. Once I had the film idea in my mind, I started setting up these shots which I thought would look nice and so I got used to the whole process of setting up the camera on the tripod, cycling away from it, cycling back to it, picking it up again and getting going. But up there in the Arctic it was quite a bit harder because of the footprints in the snow, so I would have to walk a big circle around the camera to avoid showing them in the shot. And then things went quite wrong on that part of the ride… when I was going down the Peel River a snowstorm arrived and I had to push the bike through the snow with this

Canada. So whilst I was cycling through the heat of summer in the world’s driest desert, I was thinking of other places to be. As I was reading his story, I was swept away by how evocative his descriptions were, and that’s when I decided to do this ride up to the Arctic Sea, not to relive what he was writing about but just to experience it for myself. And then from a filmmaker’s perspective, the film is all about me so there’s only one voice in it and that voice is one of real inexperience as I’d never been to that sort of environment before. So I felt that the film needed an authoritative voice to counter my own inexperience, or at least to highlight it. When I finished the trip, I started rereading his books and highlighted passages which had a resonance with me and these became the structure of the film.

ved and I had to push the bike through the snow with this e in the woods behind me”

What was your biggest pinch-yourself moment, either whilst the film was being made or at any other point in your journey? The first real pinch-myself moment would be the very first time I spent a night sleeping on a frozen lake and hearing the cracking of the ice beneath me – that was a pretty surreal experience. And then my very last day riding I was on this big white expanse of frozen ocean, looking down through the ice beneath my tyres… that was really bizarre but very special. I carried a small laptop with me on my journey, so I edited the film whilst I was cycling across Asia and Africa but I didn’t have many expectations for it. It was my first film, so I didn’t know if it was going to be any good. And then this year its been going to various festivals, including a big one – the Banff Mountain Film Festival – where I actually managed to pick up an award. Banff is kind of like the Oscars of mountain films so to have my first film received in a big standing ovation there was incredible.

pack of wolves somewhere in the woods behind me. I didn’t actually see those wolves, I just heard them each night. They were following me through the trees and lots of people had warned me about them, so it was a very real fear. At the end of the winter the wolves, which are usually non-aggressive towards humans, get quite hungry so they can be far more spontaneous in their aggression. Lying in my tent at night, I was full of fear. I didn’t dare move but internally there’s so much dread. It felt a bit ridiculous at times to be filming, because it was quite a dangerous situation to be in and the last thing I wanted was to get eaten by some wolves and then for someone to find this footage of me just chatting away to the camera. But at the same I had this filmmaker’s mindset which was saying “Well, you’re supposed to get the camera out when times are tough”. So it was kind of this duality between trying to get off that river and staying safe to survive and also making the film just because I knew that it would be such an important part of it. You use quotes from Jack London’s Call of the Wild to push the narrative of the film forward. Was he a kind of inspiration for this part of your trip? Yeah absolutely. I managed to read quite a few of his books whilst I was riding through the Atacama desert in Chile near the start of my ride, and his books were these romantic, visceral descriptions of what it’s like to be up in the far north of


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What are the most valuable things you have learned from your journey, either about yourself, other people or the world in general? I can see personally how much I’ve grown. Things that would have scared me at the start of my ride back in 2014 wouldn’t even give me a moment’s thought now. I’ve developed a lot of confidence in my ability to overcome challenges, not just challenges of being in different countries and environments but challenges of life in general. I’ve learned that the world is a pretty beautiful place full of beautiful people – that’s kind of cliché, isn’t it? To

What advice would you give to our future graduates? Firstly, to have a dream. I think a lot of people don’t really know what they want to do after university and they end up falling into various categories of jobs because it makes sense at the time. It’s like a stop-gap at first, but then they end up getting stuck in that lifestyle of careerism. So I was really lucky that I had a very clear thing that I wanted to do after university. I think it’s really important, however ridiculous or bizarre that dream is, even if it’s a childhood dream, to just hold onto it for a while.

“just because you’ve suddenly got a degree doesn’t mean that it’s time to set the world on fire in an accounts department - go and live a little bit first” be honest, a lot of what I’ve learned are things that weren’t new to begin with but took time to become lessons learned. We can all spout out the classic clichés, but to actually live them is like an extra step beyond.

You don’t need to chase jobs and careers so much straight away after university. Obviously you need money to be able to do things, but just because you’ve suddenly got a degree doesn’t mean that it’s time to set the world on fire in an accounts department. Go and live a little bit first.

If you could only recommend one or two of the places you travelled across to someone, where would they be? That’s like having to choose your favourite child! Kyrgyzstan was a fantastic place. I’d wanted to go there for a really long time. Beautiful mountains, brilliant culture, a lot of people haven’t really heard of it so it feels quite exciting and remote to be there. The Caucasus mountains in Georgia was a brilliant place, great food, hard spirits. I had a really nice time in Patagonia at the very start of the trip. I set off with three mates and it was very much a wet-behind-the-ears and wide-eyed experience. Everything was new and exciting, so I’ve got really fond memories of being down in Chile.

And what are you doing now? When I set off in 2014 I had no idea what I wanted to do, and now I’m becoming an adventure filmmaker. I’ve just come back from a month in Nepal making a film over there. I’m going off to northern Scotland in two days to make another film, and then off to the States and Canada over the next four months to make some more films. For the next few years I’m just going to try and make things stick by going on lots of trips and making films… sounds like a pretty good life, right?


The Dream Edition

photography by Ben Page 17

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The Dream Edition

the moon and i.

words by Charlie Gooch illustration by Ella Tritton

She cried out to me once, When I had met my depth. In the company of emptiness She wrapped her pale glow



Around my waist, Buried herself into my back, Her breath on my neck.

of g My d o ubts distorted the grain ncin da ing the dark . c a rs t r H er tea ion t c e fl Shadows of our re As I f

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She san g of the sun, wistful,

ell aslee p cu


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ezes blew,

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gently cried...


n. The moo

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I crush dreams and paint for a living. I visit ch ildren with minds Amon gst The Storm on the Sea o f Galilee. I snatc s, h sunglow yellow powder blues An nsparent d the whites of tra water TO Crus underfoot and h ethe night-Light manufactur ams. of your dre

n i eD a P ream



er words by Luke Williams

I crush dreams and paint for a living. I visit A Lady and Gentleman in Black day, Nights. I snatch the bulb of your every S Rooted in soil and soon to shoot the flowER an sias d ens f uch gre ly Of Flemish vases of live r to make a t r o Ground in my pestle and m My palette of fine powdered pigments. NT FOR A LIVING. s I pas hours in my dream workshop: i ghts. N e v e en d i n g rThe G a rd en o f E arth ly D el left s t h g i White canvasses of n undreamt a Wait to be brushed and dipped nd stained With the shadows of the day defined By the one na me on each roll.


a living. ush dreams and paint for I cr oze mes with the o a r f l t h e empty I fil ue, some as tortured Of daily human resid Other canvasses will drift by like an apple

Floating before y to be caught, ou, never Nor ever seen to fall.

illustration by Ella Tritton 20

The Dream Edition


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You can’t repeat the past


words and photography by Lydia Spencer-Elliott

n my family home, there are many boxes of old photographs. Although lacking practicality, they physicalize years of memories, keeping them accessible for when they are desired to be recalled. I began to see these images as boxes of readymades, although I cannot claim to possess “visual indifference” to them as Marcel Duchamp, artist and inventor of the ready-made, did to his. Inspired by Surrealist practice, I selected two negatives, by chance, with the same unconscious dictation of “thought in the absence of any control exercised by reason”, as described by André Breton in the 1924 Surrealism manifesto. Essentially, I closed my eyes and pointed. One negative was of a castle in Spain, and the other a group of children. I took these negatives to the dark room and created this double exposure print. My goal? Like the Surrealists before me, to evoke the union of dream and reality. For, although the images I discovered in our attic seemingly make my recollection of childhood more salient, they can in fact most strongly be likened to a dream-like subconscious imagining within the brain. As Roland Barthes demonstrates in his seminal book Camera Lucida (1980), photographs are not really linked to memory at all. If anything, they distort what we remember, inducing our creation of counter memories. The photographs provoke a past created rather than remembered, generated by a subconscious accessed only fleetingly. According to Kenneth A.


Paller, professor of psychology and co-investigator of a study carried out by North Western University, this is scientifically validated: “parts of the brain used to actually perceive… and to imagine… overlap”, so that “the vividly imagined event can leave a memory trace in the brain that’s very similar to that of an experienced event”. The double exposure of the two ready-made images allow this unclear mental image to be actualised for the viewer, through their contradictory focal points. In this way, it visually demonstrates the union of dream, reality and memory, as well as the uncertain nature of remembrance. In the era of fake news, the ability of photography to manipulate our memory is concerning. Just this year, photographs have distorted the narratives of high profile news stories such as the Manchester bombing and the London Bridge attacks. This, particularly on social media platforms such as Twitter, incites unwarranted hatred towards minority groups and allows often unjustified negativity to infiltrate the collective consciousness of our modern society. Whilst the fabrication of evidence is detrimental to both witnesses’ remembrance of the events and the recollection of the event in society more generally, it is childhood memories which are the most easily manipulated. In one study, where researchers amalgamated doctored images with genuine childhood photographs, 50% of the treatment group claimed to partially remember an event which was entirely fictional. This once again aligns memory, reality and fiction in a

The Dream Edition

“All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream.� - Edgar Allan Poe composite likable to imagining or dreaming. Many recent exhibitions have utilised photographs suggestive of remembrance. Most notably is the Living Memory exhibition by Sandwell Advocacy, funded by the National Lottery in the West Midlands. The project delves into the industrial past of the Black Country, unearthing forgotten photography collections and unique life stories of families from diverse communities across the area. This exhibition, concerned with memory, heritage and representation of culture, provides contrast to the cultural and personal amnesia we produce for ourselves through both social and mass media. In an age where we are uploading ninety-five million photos a day to Instagram and three hundred and fifty million to Facebook, photographs are becoming less and less representative of heritage and of our cultural past. Content uploaded to these sites is curated and edited in a way that the archival images of the Living Memory collection could not have been. In this curation, we not only manipulate the perception of our lives for those viewing them online, but retrospectively for ourselves as well. For, if both manipulated and non-manipulated images of our childhood fabricate counter memories, so will altered images of our present which we upload on a daily basis. This lack of authenticity and focus on curation has generated a society in which there is a pressure to strive for perfection, if not in our physical selves then certainly through our online profiles. This pushes the notion of the 'true self ' even further

away from what is tangible and allows our fictional perfection in the fabricated past to be idealised in the present. This identifies remembrance, in the modern age particularly, as an imaginatively engaged lucid dreamstate. Not only is our cultural memory saturated by fake news, but our own history has become equally deceptive through our inclination towards editing before sharing to online platforms. Remembrance is more uncertain than ever, and dreaming is no longer exclusive to night time. So where does this leave us? Awareness is key. When next flicking through photos on Facebook or scrolling through Instagram, don’t idealise the past. Enjoy the story, like reading a book. Never has it been more important to avoid falling into the trap of nostalgia, especially now that the past is fictional.


photography by Charis Skafida

Exetera Magazine


The Dream Edition


Exetera Magazine

Over the next few pages, you will enter into a realm where the nonsensical is logical; the rational non-existant. Three writers record a night’s dreaming immediately upon waking up. The result is a patchwork of stories loosely stitched together by one steady stream of consciousness.

Chimeric Voyages Whilst documenting her trip around India last summer, Victoria Pownall also started to record her dreams. This piece brings together several dreams she had during her time there, creating a raw, written-from-memory sequence that we have left completely unedited.

words and illustration by Victoria Pownall photography by Lily Plume


The Dream Edition We run around the manor house, I haven’t seen you in years. The wealth is astounding, you ignore me in the morning and I find an old friend is the only one to listen when I try and cut into a manic conversation. In an old school, you can rent out a dial up phone to play videos and old tapes. The ancient series, a comedy whereby frozen men from sea are revived. Doctors stand around a Neanderthal man, notice his gills, his stomach, his… a nurse sniggers and they all look towards the camera and shrug. Fire and matron. Sent to the top of the tower with a painting from class, fire alarm goes off, go down, then matron says you left your painting, you must go back up. At a giant play park, climbs to the top of a slide, takes shoes off, slides down to fire alarm. Oh, you must retrieve your shoes. Yellow flags flutter. Roaches jump down and slap a plastic bag like fat, black, raindrops. A mother dog and her scruffy pups survey the train station for scraps. A gentle hum. Wafts of burnt plastic and waste in the air. Drums. New faces, snakebites, stinging. We have to find the centre. We are all here to learn something, singing, chanting, until the threat is unearthed. We are boarded on trains and I watch from the side-lines as you give yourself up to the guard. “I have his chocolate”. They set the dogs on you, you run, but they just want to play. We travel through golden fields, past wheat-made yurts, in a continuous pattern dug out from the soil. Until we reach the porous hills, a house, an old relic, we are reunited and I finally give back what I’ve been hiding all these years.


loops and knots loops and knots an ps and knots and loops and knots an ps and knots and loops and knots an Exetera Magazine

A train track with the parts laid out, my path predestined. I am driving around in convoluted circles in a strangely familiar place, yet I am still lost. I pass the same landmarks again and again. I turn a different way, but end up here. Somehow, I pass the same church what feels like a hundred times: the image is stretched out across my mind. I feel like a hamster in a plastic tube cage extension – a momentary adventure that only leads back to the inescapable mundane. My feet are running to no end as the bright wheel whirs past my eyes. My whole body shakes angrily, I lose control of the wheel and I veer off course. Cars swerve to avoid me. I’m on the

words by Ella Tritton and Scarlett Watkins


nd loops and knots and loops and kn nd loops and knots and loops and kn nd loops and knots and loops and kn The Dream Edition

wrong side. Two blinding lights scar my vision, the horn a deafening blare. I’m blocked in. I shut my eyes.

I don’t know where I’m going or why. The depth beneath me is unknown, but I’m trying to climb up. Suspended by loops and knots, my head twists nauseating as the crag angles, edging further towards my face so I am hanging. My hands are clammed to the rock, but my arms strain under my weight. They are failing. My feet knocking, knocking off shards not gripping. It’s not even rock anymore it’s mud, grassy clumps of earth spilling away into my gritty-palmed hands, I crumble.

illustration by Ella Tritton


Exetera Magazine


The Dream Edition


Exetera Magazine

Read It and Sleep: A SLEEP GUIDE FROM EXETERA’S SLEEP EXPERT words by Stephanie Romiszewski & Clemmie Melvin

illustrations and photography by Imogen Hayward


s a lack of sleep making you weep? Fear not dear reader! Exetera’s resident sleep expert, Stephanie Romiszewski, sheds some light on what is keeping you up at night. Listed below are her top tips, give them a read if you fancy having better kips.




Number One: Sound the alarm! Get up at the same time every morning. Your body needs to understand that there is a common starting point to each day. Your productivity, your hunger, your ability to exercise - all of these things are regulated by the time you wake up. If your rising hours are erratic, you will be too! Your body works in accordance with how far from your ‘wake time’ you are. This is why sometimes you aren’t hungry at lunch time, and why on a different day nothing will sate that appetite, or why you can’t concentrate in a specific lecture despite it being at the same time every darn day. If you keep moving the goal posts (i.e. lying in some days and getting up at random times), your body won’t know what is going on. Stop ‘snoozing’ your alarm!

Number Two: To bed, to bed, to bed! Go to bed when you are actually sleepy! Everybody needs to make sure they have a ‘window’ each day that remains the same – it is an ‘opportunity’ to sleep. This does not mean jumping into bed regardless of how you feel, expecting sleep to magically come. If that were the case, the word ‘insomniac’ wouldn’t exist. What it does mean is having a consistent opportunity each day to wind down and chill. Reduce stimulation like light and noise but still do things you enjoy, such as reading a good book. Then when your eyes are physically heavy, take yourself off to bed. Winding down is way more important than the duration of your sleep as it affects the quality of your sleep, and it is quality that is important. That’s right. Stop being obsessed with the amount of sleep you get. How ‘well’ you sleep is what really matters. This doesn’t mean you can get away with very little sleep, but if you are going to bed when sleepy and getting up at the same time every day, your body will dictate how much sleep you need.





The Dream Edition



Number Three: Nip the nap in the bud! Napping steals your sleep fuel. If you nap, you take away the drive for your body to get one consolidated period of quality sleep. It doesn’t matter how long the nap is – your brain doesn’t care! It will just assume you don’t have to go to bed at your usual time because there was a period of sleep earlier. I know I know, there are a ton of studies proclaiming the ‘awesomeness’ of naps, and we have all heard the rumours about the ‘nap pods’ in Google HQ… but hear me out. Napping recovers you when your sleep is already rubbish, but it doesn’t fix the rubbish sleep. It becomes a habit. The more you nap the more likely you are to never have good quality sleep at night because your body will start relying on a nap to get you through the day. Yes, a nap will improve your performance in the short term, whilst giving you a one-way ticket to insomnia in the long term. That’s not to say you can’t nap every now and again, especially if you don’t mind less sleep at night and are partial to a daytime slumber. However, if you have problems with sleep that you want to resolve, say ‘nay to the nap’ in order to get your sleep back on track.

Number Four: Booze is bothering your snooze!

Sleep Tight! x

Apologies in advance, but I have to touch upon caffeine and alcohol; the former is a stimulant and the latter is a depressant. Neither are good for sleep. Stick to caffeine as a morning treat, and try not to drink alcohol close to bedtime frequently. ‘Boozing’ can make you feel sleepy initially, but it wreaks havoc on your sleep architecture and prevents all the essential restorative processes from happening in your sleep. The reason why that pounding headache pervades for the entire day is not just dehydration, it’s rubbish sleep. That’s not to say you should completely cull Merlot and mochas from your diet – just be mindful about when you consume them, and the quantity of your consumption!

Stephanie Romiszewski is the director of Exeter’s Sleepyhead Clinic. For free tips and advice check out or follow Steph @sleepyshefski on instagram and @sleepyclinic on twitter. All Exetera readers get 5% off a ‘Sleepyhead’ course with Steph by presenting their student card and quoting ‘SleepyheadEX’. 33



Exetera Magazine

The Midnight Man The commotion of emotions from a night in the starry ocean, Steals away his sleeping hand; And during the blaze and haze of the sunny morning days, Sleeps the Midnight Man. With chocolate charcoal hair and flaring smiling stare, He rests in toxic zen; And in his restful streams of glorious gleaming dreams, Mr Midnight waits for night again. As the acid sun sets, sinking away without regrets, The Midnight Man’s sleep breaks; For the poison black sky harbours all the reasons why The Man of Midnight awakes.

words and illustration by Esenya Williamss

Drinking liquid fizzy laughter and dizzy from then after By everyone’s happiness, Gladly lives the Midnight Man with his tan-can-handed clan, Singing in a soul-filled mess. But as the blaze and haze of the red sun’s morning rays Again thieves his happy hand, He pours away the potion of the starry night ocean, And sleep welcomes the Midnight Man.


The Dream Edition

How does it feel to remember a dream? ‌Rising abruptly, caught in clouds of covers and misted in morning, She hustles her mind, asking it to remember, pleading, Reaching out with hooks inside her head to catch that Which has already crumbled, Fleeting and fancy-free. So wild, the blurred lines of wakefulness The instant you recall, you then forget The formless images, Of a night, half-remembered. Drawn from within to consume us in sleep, Captained by us but against our will, Lighter than the lines that divide us, Its vulnerability to the merest touch A single waking second. By their nature, vivacious, they are quick to confuse: Entangled amongst the everyday and winding within, like spider silk, To gaze through frosted glass, or squint through tired eyes, To miss the muffled remnants of a puzzle. How does it feel to remember a dream? Ask me again tomorrow and let this dance begin again.

words by Booty Lloyd

artwork by Lucy Osler


Exetera Magazine


Et dans l’intimité de la nuit les scènes s’enchaînent sans limites. Sois qui tu désires, endosse ton idée la plus folle, ton envie la plus incongrue. Contemple ces visages connus, ces visages perdus, angéliques, démoniaques. Que tes pensées soient plus absurdes que la nuit dernière, plus folles, plus excentriques que la nuit prochaine. Les frontières du réel ne sont plus, les frontières sont abolies. Mais sois prudent, il guette, il vient t’extirper de ton bonheur. Et le matin vient, et l’oubli se mêle à lui. Tes paupières encore lourdes peinent à se lever, tes pupilles même n’ont le courage d’affronter le levant. Et doucement, doucement, les lignes se contorsionnent, les scènes s’obscurcissent, se troublent ; les visages s’effacent, se disloquent. Oh matin cruel, matin meurtrier ! Les rayons du soleil ont déchiré ton innocence nocturne, l’aube t’as arraché à ton monde chimérique et la lune se réfugie alors dans des contrées reculées. Et en ce triste matin nous ne sommes plus rien. Nous sommes nous. Allongés dans le vide de la réalité, devant nous confronter à nos propres visages, ne pouvant dorénavant plus rêver à celui des autres. En ce matin, nous ne sommes plus rien, nous sommes nous. Un ‘nous’ sans rêves pour le jour, attendant paisiblement le prochain crépuscule, la prochaine nuit noire qui nous offrira de pareils délices et de pareilles folies. Comme un refuge, comme un cri de ralliement, la nuit nous appelle. Morphée nous tend les bras. Le rêve nourrit nos nuits, nos vies, nos angoisses, nos désirs.

*Frontières in French means both borders and boundaries. Photo shot on 35mm film in Tenerife, Canary Islands. 36

The Dream Edition words by Lucie Le Bon


photography by Lily Plume

Sweet dreams are made of cheese... Exetera Magazine

It recently came to Exetera’s attention that the British Cheese Board conducted an experiment to investigate into the myth that eating cheese before bed gives you nightmares, and if so, whether different cheeses give you different dreams...

The British Cheese Board Experiment: 200 people 20g of cheese per person 30 mins before bed No control group

words by Georgie Day & Imogen Hayward

Findings: Cheddar cheese = dreams about celebrities Red Leicester = nostalgic dreams related to childhood or the past Lancashire cheese = dreams about coworkers Stilton / Blue cheese = most vivid, unusual and downright strange dreams Cheshire cheese = peaceful night’s sleep with no dreams

illustrations by Annabel Fraser The Internet Science Behind it: !! Disclaimer: all information is based on research conducted on Le Internet, and should therefore not be used unless feeling particularly reckless or intoxicated !! For those that are particularly interested in science, looking for a conversation starter, or just full of the whys; the all-knowing world wide web has provided some interesting hypotheses connecting specific types of cheese to different dream scenarios: • Some theories propose that the vividness of dreams could be influenced by the fungal content of the cheese. Among the unpronounceable potential compounds found in fungi, Tryptamine is a common chemical that aids the production of serotonin (the “happy hormone”) and other related alkaloids. It’s thanks to these groovy chemicals that we get the wonderful hallucinogenic effects of magic mushrooms and DMT. WOOOO! This therefore explains why blue cheeses in particular can give us wacko dreams! • Tyramine is another substance that may be found in cheesey bacteria, which works by releasing neurotransmitters like adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine into the body. Hence allowing for those James Bond-style-running-along-the-top-of-a-train dreams. Internet findings conclusion: Eating 20g of Cheddar cheese, 30 minutes before bedtime may well increase your chances of meeting Dua Lipa on Friday night, even if it is only in your dreams.

TRY IT AT HOME: Yes, although we have told you in the disclaimer that playing with cheese before bed may be dangerous we were always the amped-up kinda kids who broke the rules before the rule-makers even thought to make them. So in true Blue Peter style, we thought we’d help you try this at home. Cheese Dreams Experiment: X participants 5 types of cheese 2 hours before bed X bottles of wine (the more the better, preferably a good strong rouge) And the rest is history. We take science very seriously here… sweet dreams. P.S. We would love to hear your findings (for database purposes only). If you bump into one of the team let them know, or if you’re really really keen, send over an email to the cheese department of Exetera at 38

The Dream Edition

A Note from our Founder: The Exetera Dream words by Max Benwell


hen I set up Exetera it was just like a dream: barely formed, rough around the edges, and I didn’t know what was going on. I had spent my second year at the University of Toronto, where they had over a dozen student newspapers and magazines. Exeter only had Exeposé and Razz My Berries (The Tab started around the same time as us). Both were fine, but took themselves quite seriously. There was nothing with a sense of humour, which allowed you to experiment and be a bit weird before an entry-level media job straight-jacketed you. There was also nothing that cared about its design, illustration, and photography as much as its writing, and tried to cram as many ideas into each issue as possible. So I set about filling the gap. The aim was to create

something lovingly crafted, with lots of different pieces to keep you entertained. I also wanted it to be something you would want to keep. One of the best moments during my time as editor was visiting some random person’s room for a house viewing and seeing the first issue beside their bed, months after it had been published. The dream was a grander elaboration of this. I didn’t want to just make something people wanted to keep, but something that would also keep on going. Every year I get emotional finding out that the magazine is still alive, thanks to a new set of people I’ve never met before. I hope all the editors and writers who make this happen still find it as fun as I did, and that you (the reader) enjoy reading it. For as long as this continues, the good ship Exetera sails on.


Get in touch...

Exetera Magazine

Like what you’ve seen? Think you could do better? We’re looking for writers and creative types to join our team. If this sounds like you, contact us at: Facebook: Exetera Magazine Instagram: @exetera


The Dream Edition  
The Dream Edition