Thursday 20 February 2020
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Annigna Kennedy, Actress and Filmmaker: Five things I would change about Jersey

Annigna Kennedy, Actress and Filmmaker: Five things I would change about Jersey

Friday 14 February 2020

Annigna Kennedy, Actress and Filmmaker: Five things I would change about Jersey


Annigna is comfortable both behind the camera and in front... but today it's not her in the spotlight, but the things she'd change about Jersey if she were in charge.

Born in Basel, Switzerland, Annigna now lives in Jersey with her local husband Tom, and the pair's three-year-old daughter.

Along with her other half, Annigna runs a small creative filmmaking and photography company called ‘Little River Pictures’, and has also recently joined Rhona Richard’s ‘Feisty Goat Theatre Company’, with which they are currently rehearsing the play ‘Contractions’ by Mike Bartlett.

Annigna say she loves "Jersey for its nature and beauty, for the ever changing sea" and "for the many good friends that I’ve made over here".

"It is a wonderful place to bring up children and I’m very happy here," she said.

There are, however, a few things that she would change… 

1. A greener future

I believe Jersey could make a fantastic role model for a more ecological and sustainable way of living. Due to its size, population and location it could be the perfect place to prove that things can be done, and done quickly, with many benefits for everyone. We hear a lot about the 'ifs and buts', but we could just do it.

Jersey’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 is promising, but I believe we need more, and sooner, on a variety of levels.

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Pictured: Anninga thinks the island can do "more and sooner" to help the climate crisis.

For example, I like to envision the island to be big on alternative transport, with frequent electric busses even to the most remote parts of the island, and a comprehensive cycle network, so everybody can feel safe on a bike. Where I’m from, people use bicycle so much more as a way of transport, so my husband and I though we’d give it a go in Jersey and bought an electric Cargo Bike. And it’s great!

The number of cars per head in Jersey is crazy, considering how small the island is. Jersey could be so much more like many places in Europe, where cycling with your kids in tow is second nature. And how about a frequent and reliable electric ferry connection all year round to mainland France and England, where you can continue your travel by train?

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Pictured: She would like to see more green transport, describing the number of cars on the island as "crazy".

Yes, Jersey needs to be bold and innovative, but there are examples all over the world that things are possible.


Furthermore, Jersey has a wonderful agricultural heritage and has influenced farming around the world despite its small size. Wouldn’t it be marvellous if Jersey now was at the forefront of the slow but inevitable shift towards an organic and sustainable way of farming, which embraces biodiversity, boosts healthy soil and clean water?

I believe the age of pesticides should be over without delay and sustainable, organic farming should be supported in any way possible, by government, businesses and consumers alike. 

2. Embrace art and culture

Coming from a city with a rich and colourful art scene, I do miss this kind of artistic vibrance that influences the feel of a place in such a great way.

Over the years that I’ve lived here I’ve met and become friends with many local artist and creatives who do wonderful work and I enjoy the sense of connection within the creative artistic community. But everybody misses a creative hub and so many talented people leave because of the lack of work and opportunity.


I personally miss a vibrant theatre scene, supported by grants by the States, so independent professional theatre makers can make theatre that not only entertains but also dares to ask questions, to be a mirror to society, to provoke conversation and doesn’t fear to be controversial.

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Pictured: "Art and culture enriches everybody’s lives," Annigna says.

Art and culture enriches everybody’s lives and considering that we have so much talent here on island we could do more than is already done, in any artistic discipline. More interim use of empty spaces for artists and creatives (for example the old La Folie pub and cottages, which I see every day from my studio and which are sadly just left to crumble and fall apart). More funded opportunities, more investment in creative industries, more festivals, museums, art competitions, which all have the added bonus of sparking innovation, creating jobs and attracting visitors to the island.

I would also like to see an Arthouse cinema, and for the Branchage film festival to return. Which leads to my next point..

3. A thriving local film industry

I have heard from many different people how suited Jersey is for a local film industry. Jersey could have its own film board, which would promote the island as a stunning location and production site for film and video with its own film studios, similar to the Isle of Man.

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Pictured: Annigna wants to see lights, camera and action in Jersey.

Such an industry would attract people and business from abroad as well as creating interesting jobs for locals. I believe it would only be beneficial to the island to encourage additional industries in Jersey and promote prosperity through economic diversification, rather than relying as heavily on the finance industry as Jersey is doing currently.

4. Affordable housing and rent


The cost of rent and housing is just far too high in Jersey and keeps going up, which is a massive burden on many local households. Rental stress, which by definition is caused when a household pays more than 30% of its income on rent, is a reality for far too many people in Jersey.

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Pictured: She wants to see the government create a housing policy allowing everyone to own their own house or flat.

I think Jersey has to find a way of making living more affordable for its residents, for now especially in the rental sector, and for the long term work out a housing policy which ensures that everyone is able to own their own house or flat. There are places and countries which show that it is indeed possible, and possible in conjunction with a healthy economy. 

5. A safe haven for the vulnerable


It is not long ago that Jersey was swept over by war and experienced occupation by a brutal regime first-hand, and many innocent local people had to leave everything behind and flee into the unknown with the hope to save their lives and one day be able to return home.

Jersey is very good at keeping up the memory of these events, which is important no doubt. But isn’t it important to remember also that there are many entirely innocent people today who were forced to leave their homes by wars they have nothing contributed to? What about the many unaccompanied children and minors who are stuck in appalling conditions in refugee camps?

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Pictured: Vulnerable people should be offered "homes, support and a future", Annigna says.

I look at my daughter and it breaks my heart to imagine how hard life must be for these children and their parents. Wouldn’t it be a great way of commemorating Jersey’s history by showing compassion and solidarity to today's victims?

I have seen many people in Jersey donating clothes and food and supporting locals who have gone and delivered such necessary items to desperate people in camps. But I believe Jersey should, and easily could, offer homes, support and a future to vulnerable people.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author, and not Bailiwick Express.

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