A team of seven Imperial alumni from Silwood Park Campus are currently involved in a documentary named Bananageddon. The film aims to transform the way we think about banana agriculture and educate us about the more sustainable methods of production which will ensure long-term food security. We caught up with the team leader, Jackie Turner (MSc Life Sciences 2017) to find out more about the documentary, as well as what she got up to at Imperial's Silwood Park Campus.
What did you learn during your time at Imperial, in class or out?
"I learned how to delegate in a team setting and trust my team to do their part. Our pitch for this project to the Imperial College Exploration Board was really intense, and it occurred at the least ideal time of the year for us, but the whole documentary team stepped up and made it happen."
Can you tell us about your studies at Imperial?
"I studied Applied Ecology on Imperial’s Silwood Park Campus. My thesis focused on a particular species of banana, native to Ethiopia, called Enset, which feeds about 20 million people. I researched its geographic distribution."
What is your fondest memory of your time here?
"I definitely have some great memories from my kitchen in William Penney at Silwood Park Campus. The community there is amazing, and you find yourself surrounded by great people who have a similar mindset, strong opinions and great chat, so those late evenings flew by."
What is your favourite place at Imperial and why?
"My favourite place is the trails behind Silwood Park. I picked up trail running while living on campus and I found running in the mornings to be a great way to clear my head and approach problems with a fresh perspective."
Tell us about your upcoming documentary...
“Bananageddon is all about informing consumers of the variety of bananas out there and the alternative systems of production being used by small farmers to produce them. We want to pressure the food system to make these alternative bananas available to everyone."
Who came up with the idea?
"I’ve had this film in my mind since I spent some time living on a commercial banana plantation back in 2011. I managed to convince six other ecologists and biologists at Imperial College London to accompany me on my quest to make this film, and our plan is to shoot it over six weeks this winter in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. We’re hoping to build a community of people around this film who care about the environment, small-scale agriculture, and a better future for bananas."
What would be your advice for current students?
"Take in as many experiences as you can; soak it up; you have nothing to lose."