One day in 2002, after a feud with a former Big Brother contestant, Giles Duley walked off the set of a shoot and turned his back on music and fashion photography forever. Having worked at the forefront of the fashion and music press for the best part of a decade this was no small event – Duley had made his career photographing the likes of Pulp, Oasis and The Prodigy at the height of their fame. But he had other plans for his photographic talents, ones that would take him far from the London studios in which he spent his days.
Duley turned his lens on humanitarian issues and left the UK to document conflicts across South Sudan, Bangladesh and Ukraine amongst others. Here he was as successful as he had been while photographing the entertainment industry and his ability to document the triumph of the human spirit in the face of conflict saw him nominated for an Amnesty International Media Award and a winner at the Prix de Paris. Sadly that success was abruptly cut short.
In 2011 while on foot patrol with the US Army in Afghanistan Duley was blown up by a landline and lost both legs and his left arm. He nearly lost his life. Thankfully he survived and his personal story has elevated the profile of his photographs, finally bringing the conflicts he documents to a global audience. Since his accident Giles has vowed that he will return to work in late 2012, determined to keep documenting the causes he so dearly believes in.
At Here Giles will tell his incredible story, from his days at the NME to his current struggles acclimatising to life with severe disability, taking you through his personal and photographic journey. You’ll also be able to see Giles’ work up close and personal shortly after Here as he’s just been selected for the Taylor Wessing Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in November.
Here is at London’s Royal Geographical Society on Friday September 21. The event is now sold out but you can add yourself to the waiting list or get more information here.
We had the pleasure of speaking to Giles face-to-face last November and you can read the interview here.