Giles Duley is a photographer, writer and CEO/Founder of the charity Legacy of War Foundation.
Born in London in 1971, Duley was as a successful fashion and music photographer for ten years during the nineties, working for such publications as GQ, Vogue, Esquire, Arena and Select Magazine. However, having become disillusioned with celebrity culture, he decided to abandon photography and left London to begin work as a full-time carer. In his role as a support worker for a young man with Autism he discovered the power of stories in advocacy.
In 2005, he returned to photography, personally funding trips to document the work of NGOs focusing on the stories of those affected by conflict across the world. He photographed the work of charities such as the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), EMERGENCY, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and documenting the lives and stories of people whom he describes as “not victims but victims of circumstance.” In 2010, Duley was nominated for an Amnesty International Media Award and he was a winner at the Prix de Paris (both 2010 and 2012) In 2011, whilst working in Afghanistan, Duley was to “become the story” after he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), losing both his legs and left arm. 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 less than 18 months later.
His first project, In October 2012, took him back to Afghanistan to complete his original assignment. His return was the feature of documentary, Walking Wounded: Return to the Frontline, which has since won the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) Award for Best International Current Affairs Documentary (2013) and the Foreign Press Association (FPA) Award for TV Documentary Story of the Year (2013)
Duley has since documented stories in Lebanon, Iraq, Cambodia, Laos, Colombia, Uganda, South Sudan, Angola and Jordan amongst others. His work has featured in numerous papers and magazines, he presented for the series Channel 4 series Unreported World, and he has talked about his experiences on television, radio and at numerous 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 2015 he was commissioned by UNHCR to document the refugee crisis across the Middle East and Europe. This year long project produced the exhibition and book – I Can Only Tell You What My Eyes See. Duley was also awarded the Women on the Move media award for his work highlighting the plight of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. In 2017 Major Leoluca Orlando made him an honorary citizen of Palermo for his work with refugees.
He is best known for his project Legacy of War that documents the long-term impact of conflict. This project has led to numerous collaborations including with the musicians PJ Harvey and Massive Attack
In 2017, inspired by the stories of those he meet through his work, Duley founded the charity Legacy of War Foundation. An NGO’s focused on supporting communities and individuals to rebuild lives after conflict.