Local photographer Melissa Rodrigues has spent the last few years taking snapshots of local life, from weddings to social movements like Black Lives Matter.
In this piece, Melissa puts that observant eye onto the island as a whole, and gives Express her five things she would change about Jersey.
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1. Real estate and rental prices
It is so difficult for many people to buy here in the island. Especially if they are already renting accommodation, which then makes it almost impossible to save to be able to put together a deposit for property.
Pictured: Melissa would like to see more chances for islanders to have their own homes.
My understanding of the economy is very limited, but it just seems like such a shame that owning your own home is such a challenge for so many.
2. More opportunities for the arts
We have the Opera House, Arts Centre and a few pubs that have a schedule for live music. However we could have so much more!
Pictured: Melissa suggests that Jersey could offer more to assist its creatives.
There are so many talented people here and it seems a shame that we lose them (due to moving to the UK, or further field) because Jersey can't offer more for their creatives.
3. More mental health support
Everyone has mental health and it’s really important that our society is supported in this matter. I have had friends and family who have suffered with their mental health and we have been stuck on where to find help.
Pictured: "I know it’s a really complex field, but I do know lots of people who feel like they don’t know where to turn when they need support."
I know it’s a really complex field, but I do know lots of people who feel like they don’t know where to turn when they need support.
4. Reviewing the education system
This is a broader subject that isn’t just Jersey specific but I do think that we are in a position to make changes. I hated school as a child. I didn’t feel like school catered to my learning styles or needs. I learnt more about myself and our society in general when I left school.
Pictured: Melissa feels that more politics should be incorporated into the school curriculum.
I think that we need to be looking into the way that we educate our youngsters to develop a society that teaches life skills, not just academic subjects and how to pass an exam. Politics should be taught as well as practical skills like how to grow and sustain our planet.
5. More cycle paths
We have quite a few cyclists on the island, but I do think we have scope to encourage a lot more people to get on their two wheelers and ditch their four wheelers. However we could make cycling a lot safer by incorporating cycle lanes on our main roads.
Pictured: "We are entering a new wave of thinking and feeling about our environment, so making more conscious decisions is important."
I understand that this isn’t a quick fix or perhaps isn’t as easy as it seems in my mind, but it’s worth brainstorming. We are entering a new wave of thinking and feeling about our environment, so making more conscious decisions is important.
Pictured top: Some of Melissa's work from her recent exhibition, 'The Feminine Divine'.