063 - Giles Duley

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Throughout the 90's, Giles Duley, worked as a successful fashion and music photographer for ten years. However, having become disillusioned with celebrity culture, he decided to abandon photography and left London, worked in a pub and eventually began work as a full-time carer. It was in this role that he rediscovered his craft and its power to tell the stories of those without a voice. In 2000, he returned to photography, personally funding trips to document the work of NGOs and the stories of those affected by conflict across the world. In 2011, Giles lost both legs and his left arm after stepping on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Afghanistan whilst on a routine patrol with troops from the 1st Squadron of the 75th Cavalry Regiment of the U..S. Army. Very few people exppected him to live. And when he did he was told he would never walk again and that his career was over. However, characteristically stubborn, Duley told his doctors “I’m still a photographer”, and returned to work in Afghanistan less than 18 months later, after a long and arduous process of rehabilitation involving continuous operations, over 30 in all. Giles has since documented stories in Lebanon, Bangladesh, Colombia, Iraq and Jordan amongst others. His return to Afghanistan was the feature of the award-winning documentary, Walking Wounded: Return to the Frontline. His work has since been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines, and he has talked about his experiences on television, radio and at several international and national events. His TEDx talk was voted one of the top ten TED talks of 2012. Giles is a Trustee for the Italian NGO Emergency and ambassador for Sir Bobby Charlton’s landmine charity Find A Better Way. In 2013, he won the May Chidiac Award for Bravery in Journalism and the AIB Founders Award for Outstanding Achievement, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. In 2016 he was commissioned by the UNHCR to document the refugee crisis across Europe and the Middle East, the result of which was the book I Can Only Tell You What My Eyes See. By June 2017 Gile had already travelled to over a dozen countries in the continuation of his project Legacy of War, a five year undertaking exploring the long-term, global effects of conflict which Giles sees as his defining work to date. GILES HAS A SOLO EXHIBITION (AND SUPPER CLUB!) ON NOW - OCT 4TH TO OCT 15TH - AT THE OLD TRUMAN BREWERY IN LONDON. DETAILS HERE. “You know, you spend a year in hospital, you lose a year of your life, you think you may never walk again, you may never even step out in the sunshine again. When everything’s taken away from you, what you get given back feels more precious than ever. And so all those things that we take for granted, the simple things in life, meant everything. And for me photography is in my core…”

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