Lumiere takes over the whole of Durham city during mid-November. The projection on the Cathedral and the Castle told the story of the evolution of human culture over the past millennium as well as describing an imaginary world to us. Those fantastic and surreal displays of the combination of light and all kinds of different theme brought a lot of excitement to the city.
I, fortunately, got to be part of this amazing festival this year as a volunteer and I was so excited. I was allocated a position inside the Cathedral, which is the heart of all the displays and my main responsibility was to guide the crowd in the right direction in order for them to enjoy Lumiere the most. The weather was not ideal as it was freezing cold during the night when I was on duty but I could still see the passion and enthusiasm of the visitors on their face. They were all smiling at me as I told them the way, which was the highlight of the whole experience for me as a volunteer.
As everyone was enjoying the festival, I was so thankful that being a part of the volunteers, I got to understand how hard all the other festival makers, crowd management team, and all the Lumiere staff worked to make it happen. I think we should all be grateful for their hard work and contribution to making Durham more appealing.
A small story from the volunteer station is that when we were getting ready for everything, I heard two festival makers, a boy and a girl saying “Bye, mom. We’re already missing you.” to their mom as she was setting off for her shift also as a festival maker. I was so touched that a family living in Durham get to actually participate in this special event with the effort from two generations. I am sure that it would definitely be a very precious moment they created together both for Lumiere and their family.
I feel extremely lucky to experience Lumiere here in Durham during my Masters year, especially as a festival maker. If I was asked when I fell in love with this city, I would say during Lumiere.
Ella is studying Marketing MSc at Ustinov College.