7 November 2011
Last updated at 11:06
A photograph of Angolan refugees is one of those taken by British documentary photographer Giles Duley that are on show at the KK Outlet Gallery. Yet earlier this year Duley was himself at the centre of the story, when, whilst covering the conflict in Afghanistan, he stepped on a bomb, instantly losing three of his limbs. Duley spent 45 days in intensive care, but now he is looking ahead to working once more, and this show is a collection of his work from the past 10 years.
Duley refuses to be classed as a victim: "Since the incident I've heard of myself referred to as a victim of the war. I am nothing of the sort. I knew the risks being a photographer entailed, but taking these photographs somehow felt important and I am honoured to do it… I’m an anti-war photographer, it has always been my objective to document the realities and consequences of conflict for civilians." Here we present some of Duley pictures that are on show.
Dawn at Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, in 2008. "Sometimes a photograph can't truly describe a scene," said Duley. "The beauty of the morning light disguises the horror of the camp's living conditions. It's an unofficial camp, housing 25,000, built on the slopes below the official UN camp. Raw sewage from the UN camp flows down the slope and quite literally through the huts built below. Disease is rampant."
Duley's pictures often depict intense moments. Here a Nuer woman, in South Sudan in 2009, is seen in delivery at the moment of her child’s death. Duley said: "This was such a desperate moment and reflected the dire need for better healthcare in South Sudan. As the nurses were limited I’d had to help the doctor, I stopped for a moment to take a photograph. It was such a private moment, but I felt it should be recorded to show the need for more aid in this area. In the horror of such an event there was a strange moment of calm. I’m not a religious man, but that was the closest I’ve seen to something spiritual. Months later the photo won an award, I felt incredibly uncomfortable about that."
"Child labour is a good example of how complicated humanitarian issues can be," said Duley. "At the time of this photograph, a lot of clothing factories had been shut down because of customer outrage at the use of child labour in producing high-street brands. As a result though, those children had been left without incomes and often ended up on the street. The charity I was working with in Dhaka was bringing education into the factories, persuading the bosses to allow the children a few hours off every day to study. In the long term it was a more productive solution."
"I’ve always been drawn to document small groups and families, and never more so than when I documented the street children of Odessa," said Duley. "I lived with 'the family' of Prymorska Street, and in that time I grew incredibly close to them. A local charity had warned me about them, but they were courteous to a fault and never betrayed my trust. I love this photograph because it captures the character of each one and the complicated group dynamics. On the last day I was there Lilick, the boy top right, overdosed and died on vodka and pills. For a long time it made me want to give up photography."
Duley said: "Weddy and Eunice, four and five, orphans from Kenya who had both received life-saving heart surgery at Emergency’s clinic in Sudan. When anyone from the West tells me our help or money can't make a difference I show them this picture. Of course we can, and should, make a difference."
Giles Duley – Becoming the story is on at the KK Outlet Gallery in London until 26 November 2011.