The Photobook Advent Calendar – Dec 21st

This year, in the true spirit of Christmas, we’re doing the Miniclick Photobook Advent Calendar where we’ll look at a different photobook, newspaper, magazine or ‘zine we like by someone we’ve worked with in the last 12 months, right up until Christmas Day. To view the Advent Calendar picks so far, click here.

Day 21 – December 21st

Giles Duley – Journal: Afghanistan 2012

Giles Duley’s story is now a well known one in the photography world. As a photojournalist and documentary photographer working in Afghanistan, in 2011 he lost both his legs and an arm in an IED explosion. Earlier this year, he came to Brighton and did a talk for us in October. Giles’ gave us an incredible run through his work, from the fashion and celebrity portrait work he started off doing, to his path into photojournalism and documentary photography. Due to the strength of his work, and Giles’ delivery his talk was heartbreakingly moving (and in parts extremely funny). Day 21 of our Photobook Advent Calendar and we’re looking at his Journal from Afghanistan 2012…


“A photo-journal of Giles Duley’s work on the civilian casualties of the Afghan War. In 2011 Giles Duley was injured whilst working as a photographer in Afghanistan. In 2012, despite being a triple amputee, he returned to document the impact of the war on civilians. The journal includes a collection of 29 photographs taken at the EMERGENCY hospital in Kabul. It is accompanied by an essay by Giles describing his return and his experiences.”

(image and text courtesy of Shaz Madani)

As you would expect, the body of work is exceptional. Giles returned to Afghanistan in 2012 after his accident to document the civilian casualties of the war. His persona and methods are such that you know the work wasn’t done quickly – a quick visit in the hospital, take some photos and go home. Giles spent time there, with the casualties, the doctors and nurses getting to know them and documenting the recovery and work and it really shows through in the sensitivity in the images and comfortableness of his subjects in his presence (in what must be an unimaginably difficult time).

Matching the level of quality in the images is the design of the publication. It’s designed by Shaz Madani and it’s beautifully put together. From the outside, it’s faithful to it’s title as a ‘Journal’, softcover in very simple brown card and black text as the title, saddle stitched. Upon opening the book you realise it’s split into two individual parts – the 24 page essay and captions stand alone almost as it’s own ‘zine, stitched into the foldout cover and a 60 page section that includes 29 images. It really deserves to be considered as one of those books that is taking self-publishing to a new level of quality, in content and style.

The book’s first edition is limited to 1500 copies. It costs £15 and is available here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: