TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS 

Iraq: an open wound. Giles Duley for EMERGENCY

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IRAQ: AN OPEN WOUND
Giles Duley for EMERGENCY

Rovereto, Museo della Guerra
29.02 – 01.11.2020

 

Opening times
Tuesday – Sunday | 10-18

 

In 2017, British photographer Giles Duley visited the EMERGENCY hospital in Erbil to show the world what had happened in Mosul.

‘Iraq: An Open Wound’ shows war up close, seen by the photographer through the eyes of those who experience it.

Over two years of ISIS occupation and the Iraqi armed forces’ counteroffensive operation have subjected Mosul to unimaginable violence.

Over 40,000 dead, more than 700,000 displaced since October 2016. The fight for Mosul is considered the largest urban battle since the Second World War. As always, civilians have paid the highest price.

What value can photography have in the face of such horror?

‘There is no point in taking a photograph If I do not do all I can to make sure the whole world sees it. That is where my duty lies’. Giles Duley

The intensity of these pictures, suspended between art and history, tells a story that invites reflection on photography as a form of civic engagement.

Giles does not point his camera towards moments of hope, nor does he merely attempt to offer us a glimpse of war: he wants to document it, aware of how necessary it is to see things in order to understand them.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Giles Duley was born in 1971 in London. After 10 years as an editorial photographer in the fashion and music industries in both the US and Europe, he decided to abandon photography and left London. In 2000, he returned to photography, personally funding trips to document the stories of those affected by conflict across the world.

Duley visited EMERGENCY’s Salam Centre in Sudan in 2010 and he has been involved with the organisation ever since. Giles Duley is a Trustee for EMERGENCY UK.

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 On 15 January 2017, as the fighting began in Mosul, EMERGENCY, in cooperation with the Kurdistan Regional government’s Department of Health, restarted operations at the Surgical Centre in Erbil, 80km from Mosul, to guarantee medical and surgical care to victims of the conflict.
On 31 August 2017, two months after the offensive in Mosul ended, EMERGENCY officially handed over the management of the hospital back to the local Department of Health.
In 7 months, EMERGENCY treated over 1,400 victims of war.
In Iraq, EMERGENCY continues to offer healthcare to Iraqi IDPs in Ashti Camp, where more than 11,000 people live, over half of whom are children. In addition, EMERGENCY 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, with a Channel 4 crew to document the stories of people injured in the conflict. In the documentary that resulted from his trip, ‘Walking Wounded: Return to the
Frontline’, Duley visits EMERGENCY’s Surgical Centre in Kabul and meets the patients hospitalised there.

Through his work, Duley captures the strength of those who fight their adversity rather than succumb.
His photographs draw the viewer to the subject, creating intimacy and empathy for lives differing from ours only in circumstance.

 

EMERGENCY IN IRAQ

On 15 January 2017, as the fighting began in Mosul, EMERGENCY, in cooperation with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Department of Health, restarted operations at the Surgical Centre in Erbil, 80km from Mosul, to guarantee medical and surgical care to victims of the conflict.

On 31 August 2017, two months after the offensive in Mosul ended, EMERGENCY officially handed over the management of the hospital back to the local Department of Health. In 7 months, EMERGENCY treated over 1,400 victims of war.

In Iraq, EMERGENCY continues to offer healthcare to Iraqi IDPs in Ashti Camp, where more than 11,000 people live, over half of whom are children. In addition, EMERGENCY has managed a Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Centre in Sulaymaniyah since 1998. The Centre was opened in response to the high number of amputees in the area, all victims of landmines. Since 2017 EMERGENCY has also collaborated with the Rehabilitation Centre in Mosul, transferring patients who need protheses and rehabilitation courses to our centre in Sulaymaniyah.

EMERGENCY is an independent and neutral international organisation founded in 1994 to offer high-quality medical and surgical care to the victims of war, poverty and landmines.

EMERGENCY has treated over 10 million people since its foundation.

 

Credits
IRAQ: AN OPEN WOUND
Curated by EMERGENCY
Photography by Giles Duley