Humanity Through a Lens: The Work of Photographer Giles Duley Part 1 of 4

On Friday, February 20th at 6:30pm at the Variety Screening Room (Hobart Building) in San Francisco, EMERGENCY USA will be screening Walking Wounded: Return to the Front Line, a documentary film about London-based photographer and EMERGENCY UK trustee Giles Duley‘s return to Afghanistan for the first time after losing three of his limbs to an IED the year before. Giles and director Siobhan Sinnerton will be there for the reception and Q&A. Click here for tickets.

In order to provide context and draw attention to Duley’s incredible career, we’ll be highlighting his many accomplishments in a four part series leading up to the screening on February 20th. Check back next Wednesday for part 2.

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Weddy, aged 4, and Eunice, aged 5, orphans from Kenya who had both received life saving heart surgery at EMERGENCY‘s Salam Center for Cardiac Surgery in Sudan. “When anyone from the West tells me our help or money can’t make a difference,” says Duley, “I show them this picture. Of course we can, and should, make a difference.”
Photo credit: Giles Duley, 2010

Giles Duley spent the first decade of his career as a fashion and music photographer. He traveled the world photographing celebrities and had his work featured in Rolling Stone, GQ, and Vogue. “But after ten years, there was this thing that always had been nagging…that I hadn’t been using photography for what it could be used for,” he says. He quit the industry to explore a different path.

With Eunice

In 2012, Giles Duley reunited with Eunice in Kenya. “We’ve both gone through quite a bit in two years, so whilst in Kenya, it was fantastic to meet up with Eunice again to see how she was doing and take her portrait. Glad to say, we are both doing very well!” he reflected at the time.

Interested in capturing a more unseen set of human experiences, Duley began venturing into the field of humanitarian photography. He traveled to Angola where he documented the lives of refugees, profiled former rebel soldiers, and captured the procedures surrounding land mine removal. He photographed inter-tribal violence and the provision of medical care in South Sudan.

In 2010, Giles Duley came to EMERGENCY‘s Salam Center for Cardiac Surgery in Khartoum, Sudan. He profiled patients who had traveled from a variety of countries to receive free-of-charge, life-saving heart surgery at our center. It was there that he met Gino Strada and became invested in the mission and work of EMERGENCY. Duley was struck by the exemplary quality of the center. While there, he wrote in a letter, “I’ve never been in a more perfect hospital in Europe…What EMERGENCY has created here is truly special.”


Duley’s book “Afghanistan, 2012,” a photo-journal from his return to Afghanistan featuring photos of our Surgical Center in Kabul, is available for purchase here.


To help more children like Eunice and Weddy receive life-saving cardiac surgery and grow up with a healthy heart, click here to donate now.

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