The Royal Silk Road logo
The Team

Who we are

The project

“The Royal Silk Road” project is a spectacular crossing of Central Asia, from New Delhi, India, to our hometown, Brussels, Belgium, on the historical Silk Road. Over the course of four months, we, Donald, Thibault and Leopold will meet remote populations and extraordinary people, run across incredible landscapes and over some of the most beautiful roads in the world while riding our historic Royal Enfield bikes. Those bikes, far from being modern, have become the favorites of the Indian market, suggesting roughness through their style and affection through their story, starting in Britain in 1893.

Being photographers and storytellers at our core, our goal is to create content that introduces the beauty of the silk road and its spectacular diversity in ethnicities and cultures, and share it with the world. In order to do so, we will recount our adventures through a series of weekly videos on YouTube, as well as daily pictures, that will be filmed, edited, and published all along our journey.

Eight of these videos will be dedicated to presenting local talents. Talking about art, culture and sport, these eight portraits will highlight one element that unites us all: the desire to create. Whether it is a rock band in Tajikistan, a tattooist in Kazakhstan or a famous boxer in Iran, all these people with extraordinary stories are united by this same desire to create. It is a desire that has no boundaries and that we all share.

In all aspects of this project, there is one common denominator: the human being. The ‘Royal Silk Road’ is above all a journey to explore humanity. A trip dedicated to meeting others with the desire to take on a new vision of the world without prejudices or preconceptions. This is why the Samilia Foundation, a Belgian organization fighting against human exploitation and trafficking, is our partner on this project.

The “Royal Silk Road” is therefore an ambitious project that requires a lot of preparation and hard work. This website is aimed at presenting the project to you and share our experience with the widest audience.

Take part in this adventure!

Donald Marchandise

Donald

Having graduated last year in film studies at SAE Institute, Donald specialized as a camera operator. His work is versatile and he has experience working on different types of productions from advertising to documentaries, short movies and live events. He also continues to practice photography, his first passion, in his spare time. He is a certified diver, practice boxing and has travelled more than a hundred countries so far.

For him, each element has its place in this world and everything has its purpose. Through this life-defining journey, he hopes to show the world the beauty of the countries they will cross and the people that inhabit them. Creating portraits of unusual local talents, is for him the most interesting, creative and rewarding way to share them with the world.

To participate in this adventure will allow him to enrich his creativity through thousands of meetings, and will help him to focus his work on what is essential to him: the human being.

Thibault Flament

Thibault

During Thibault’s childhood, he traveled extensively through Europe and lived in several countries. All this experience gave him the taste for adventure and discovery.

Thus leaving to adventure on winding and remote roads, the Royal Silk Road team will make for beautiful encounters and discoveries! The journey will be a source of friendships, difficult moments and beautiful sceneries. So it is with the ardor of the trip and an adventurous spirit that Thibault will create a portrait of the eight talents.

After studies at the ULB and the SAE Institute, Thibault has just started his culinary training, as he embarks on his path to becoming a chef. In parallel, he is working hard on his dreams of directing films. Gradually, his view of the world was sharpened, and now he wants to explore it and share what he sees. His adaptability and analytical skills allow him to travel without too many pitfalls. He likes to travel great distances, feel the road beneath his feet and see the world.

He speaks 5 languages and is learning a 6th, was introduced to music early in his childhood and has a thirst to learn and an insatiable curiosity. This project will be an opportunity for him to experience so much of the world in which he lives!

Leopold Wirtz

Léopold

Leopold is an adventurer who has already gone to discover many countries, often left with the feeling that he had only scraped the surface of these places. He has never had the opportunity to truly go off the beaten track. This trip will be an opportunity to travel in search of authenticity, particularly through meeting locals, either the eight local artists and athletes or simply random people along the way.

Leopold is very involved in many sports, including rugby, sailing, and water skiing, but also in humanitarian projects in Belgium for which he gives his time and energy.

That is why he is at the origin of the partnership with Samilia foundation, which provides this project an additional perspective.

He holds a Bachelor in Political Sciences and one in Economic from the ULB, and he just finished a year abroad in Beijing studying for a double Master’s in Business Engineering at Beihang University. His Mandarin notions will be a valuable asset during the crossing of the most eastern parts of this trip.

Curious by nature, Leopold is passionate about photography and high-tech gadgets, and it is with enormous enthusiasm that he has led this project since a first trip to India in January 2014.

The Royal Silk Road

PRESENTED BY:

Canon
Thanks to: