For the past fifteen years Giles Duley has been documenting the long-term effects of conflict globally through his photography and writing. His Legacy of War project explores the lasting impact of war on individuals and communities told through the stories of those living in its aftermath.
What happens to countries and their people once a conflict is over? With much of the media firmly focused on the short-term economic and political consequences of war, Duley’s work is concerned with the human and the personal. It explores the local landscapes and everyday lives of those affected by conflict and raises issues that are often neglected by mainstream news and history.
His work avoids the dramatic reportage so often associated with war, you will see no images of tanks, guns, explosions in his work, rather it is stories of everyday life for those caught in war. A grandmother brushing a granddaughter’s hair, a mother feeding her baby, a father on the floor doing lessons with his children, a couple holding hands……
“Wars are not as people imagine. It is not constant action, as in films and computer games; rather, war is long periods of monotony, punctuated by extreme moments of violence. It’s those painfully long periods, where little happens, that wear people’s spirits down: isolation, lives on hold, no work, limited choices, scarce food, and the persistent fear.
Yet, remarkably, life does go on. You will hear laughter stirred from dark humour, you witness weddings and birthdays, build close friendships, and feel what it is to be alive. It is in the moments of intimacy that I realised I am not a war photographer, rather I document love”
“It's better to light a candle than to curse darkness” – the warm welcome for refugees in Nagu, Finland.