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Giles Duley      

Documentary Photographer & Photojournalist; Lost Both His Legs and Left Arm in Afghanistan

Giles Duley, Hon FRPS, 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 to begin 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, Duley lost both legs and his left arm after stepping on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Afghanistan whilst photographing those caught up in the conflict. 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.

Duley has since documented stories in Lebanon, Bangladesh, Colombia, Iraq and Jordan amongst others His return was the feature of the award-winning documentary, Walking Wounded: Return to the Frontline. His work has since been featured in numerous papers 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. Duley 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 Duley had already travelled to over a dozen countries in the continuation of his Legacy of War project, a project his sees as his defining work.


Giles Duley Artsnight
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#MoreThanAnImage: Giles Duley
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Speech Topics

“Inspirational,” “life-changing” and “humbling” are three adjectives commonly used to describe Duley’s talks. It is therefore perhaps unsurprising that he is in constant demand, both nationally and internationally, and that his TEDx talk was voted as one of the top ten overall TED talks of 2012.

Duley talks with passion, humor and candor about his work as an award-winning documentary and humanitarian photographer, and of his own remarkable quest to rebuild his life and career after becoming a triple amputee whilst working in Afghanistan in 2011. Drawing on his own courageous journey and the stories of those he has photographed, Duley delivers a message of hope, and reminds us that with hard-work, determination and a positive attitude, anything is possible. He also inspires change through showing how each and every one of us can use our talents, skills and experience to make positive contributions to the lives of others and to the world. A masterful story-teller, Duley engages and captivates, providing any event with an unforgettable experience.

Duley has spoken at numerous national and international events, including TEDx (London), 5x15 (London and Brighton), Chicago Ideas Week (USA), Bellinzola Photofestival (Switzerland), Frontline Club (London), Borris House Festival (Ireland), It’s Nice That (London), Ottobock Conference (Birmingham), Hasselblad Conference (London) and Fabrica (Italy). His TEDx talk was voted one of the top ten TED talks of 2012 and he was recently invited as a key-note speaker at the Houses of Parliament. He has also been featured on Radio 4’s Today Show, BBC’s HARDtalk and The One Show and Channel 4 News.

Duley tailors his talks to his audience and is able to speak with clients from a range of ages, backgrounds and professions. Duley speaks in English but is comfortable working with interpreters having given talks in Switzerland and Italy. Duley enjoys using photographs in his talks and has sometimes included clips from the documentary in which he was featured, "Walking Wounded: Return To The Frontline." However, he is also comfortable to talk without the use of media. Previous talks have covered the following topics:

• Overcoming adversity

• Inspiring change

• Becoming the story


Photographer and triple-amputee Giles Duley meets Syria refugees ...

Photographer Giles Duley knows life after limb-loss is hard, but he felt lucky meeting refugees who are both displaced, and trapped.

After Boston bombings, photographer Giles Duley shares insight on ...

London photographer Giles Duley has a rare understanding of the journey on which many of the Boston victims have embarked.

BBC News - Giles Duley: 'I stepped on an IED and thought I'd die'

Jan 7, 2014 ... Photographer Giles Duley recalls the harrowing moment when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while working Afghanistan.

Giles Duley talk - RPS

Feb 13, 2014 ... Humanitarian photographer Giles Duley HonFRPS will be visiting Bath in February to discuss his work and to support the work of Emergency ...

'Made in Loughborough Junction' – award-winning photographer ...

Jan 15, 2014 ... The Loughborough Junction Action Group (LJAG) has appointed award-winning photographer Giles Duley to work with young people in the ...

Triple-Amputee Photographer Giles Duley Calls Injury a 'Blessing ...

Photographer Giles Duley calls the bomb that cost him both legs and an arm a ' blessing.'

United Nations News Centre - Feature: From Lesvos to Berlin – a ...

Renowned photographer Giles Duley, who barely survived a 2011 explosion in Afghanistan in which he lost both legs and part of his left arm, now reports for the  ...

Annenberg Space For Photography Announces Upcoming IRIS ...

Giles Duley worked as a successful fashion and music photographer for ten years. In 2000, he began personally funding trips to document the work of NGOs and ...

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