The guest speaker at the April Meeting was James Levelle, adventurer and filmmaker. His talk was entitled “Free Ride to South America”. The Times said of James that “He’s nice but mad”.
James has a fascinating and often dangerous career as an investigative filmmaker in some of the world’s remotest places which started in 2007 when a commission from the Environmental Justice Foundation to document child labour in India’s cotton fields. This was followed by an investigation into the activities of pirate fishermen off the coast of Sierra Leone.
His documentary making for National Geographic, the Discovery channels and other media has taken him too many places including China, where he exposed the criminal trade in tiger hunting and South East Asia where he took on the illegal logging industry.
The main focus of his talk was “A Journey across South America with no Money”. This extraordinary journey of 12,000 kilometres proved an immensely physical and psychological challenge. He often did not know where the next meal, accommodation or transport would come from. His talk was graphically illustrated with videos and photographs. James said that the experience had given him much greater self-knowledge and gained a deeper understanding of indigenous peoples and their often harsh environments.
On 20th June the Exeter ESU is holding a Gala Dinner at the Exeter Golf and Country Club to celebrate the centenary of the founding of the English Speaking Union. The principal guest speaker is Professor Simon Horobin, Professor of Creative Writing at Oxford, University; Visiting Professor at the Universities of Connecticut and Harvard and author and broadcaster.
After a summer break the next event will be on 20th September and with the AGM, followed by supper and Sir Anthony Seldon as the Guest Speaker.
Anyone interested in joining should contact Margaret Guyver on 01392 491898