Jacob Mardell is following China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) across the Eurasian supercontinent. Travelling overland from Brussels to Beijing and returning to Europe via cargo ship, he will be exploring Chinese-built infrastructure projects and talking to those affected by developments on the ground. He holds a Master’s degree in Chinese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London and spent a year studying Chinese at Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics in Hangzhou. Jacob also works for the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin, researching the Belt and Road as part of MERICS’ BRI Tracker project.
A freelance documentary filmmaker and photographer with qualifications in cinematography (BA, Bournemouth) and on location camera experience shooting BBC documentaries, Owen is responsible for capturing the visual aspects of our journey. Owen has already worked on one documentary about the Silk Road, but is keen to refocus his lens on the Belt and Road for a more lengthy and comprehensive appraisal of the initiative.