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Chapter Event - St. Louis

Denis Belliveau Presents In the Footsteps of Marco Polo

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MARCO POLO premiered on public television in November 2008. It chronicled the journey of two ordinary guys – Belliveau, and Francis O’Donnell, an artist and former Marine – as they set out to follow Polo’s historic route. Equal parts travelogue, adventure story, and history trek , the 90-minute film weaves footage from the duo’s often perilous voyage with Marco Polo’s descriptions and experiences. Richly enhanced with Belliveau’s award-winning photographs, the program details their highs and lows as they retrace Polo’s path, trying to see what he saw and feel what he must have felt.

On their journey, the pair survives a deadly firefight and befriends a warlord in Afghanistan, cross the forbidding Taklamakan Desert in a Silk Road camel caravan, endure continuous interrogations from authorities, and live among cultures ranging from the expert horsemen of Mongolia to the tattooed tribes of Indonesia.

In the spirit of history’s great adventurers, the two make their way across the world’s largest land mass and back, securing – or, when necessary, forging – visas, surviving extreme temperatures, and talking their way out of jams brought on by Tajik soldiers, Chinese security officers, and an assortment of other bureaucrats, border guards and armed warriors.

“We made it the 13th century in our heads,” said Belliveau. “What was this like for Marco? How would it have been for him? We were going to try to make this whole journey like we were living in Marco Polo’s world.” Without the assistance of air travel, they made their way on foot, horseback, camel-back, in jeeps, trucks, boats and trains.

Join us on Tuesday, October 27th as Denis Belliveau shares highlights of his historic adventures with us!
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Denis Belliveau is an American photographer, author and explorer who retraced Marco Polo's route from Europe to Asia and back, a feat which became the publication of the documentary and book titled In the Footsteps of Marco Polo. The documentary has been used by Belliveau to create a unique interdisciplinary educational curriculum that he presents at schools and libraries across the United States and internationally.

Denis is also a scuba diver with over 600 dives on the Mesoamerican Reef, Belliveau's photography was instrumental in establishing the definitive map for the coral reef of the Mexican island of Cozumel. Belliveau also participated in an historic archaeological dig in southwest France, unearthing a centuries-old Christian monastery, located at the current site of Abbatiale Saint-Maixent de Saint-Maixent-l'École. Belliveau's photography and writing have been highlighted in numerous periodicals, magazines and books, including The New York Times, Petersen's Photographic Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine and BBC’s Planet Earth.

5:30 pm – Member business meeting
6:00 pm – Cocktail Hour
6:45 pm – Dinner
7:30 pm – Lecture

Please mail a check prior to October 23, 2015 made payable to: The Explorers Club – St. Louis Chapter, c/o Mr. Benjamin Hulsey, One US Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101. PRE-PAYMENT IS REQUIRED FOR DINNER, payments are no longer accepted at the door.

Date: Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Location: The St. Louis Women’s Club, 4600 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, Missouri

Member Ticket Price: $65

Guest Ticket Price: $70

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste