LOC delegates urged to concentrate efforts on what you can change and disregard what you can’t control, as some were moved to tears by bomb victim photographer.
“Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t.” That was powerful, harrowing and humbling message to hushed LOC delegates at the NOC in Kenilworth last week.
Guest NOC speaker, Giles Duley, lost three limbs and was lucky to survive stepping on a booby-trap bomb in Afghanistan while photographing with US armed forces. His life was only saved as a passing medical helicopter was able to transfer him to an emergency operating theatre within minutes of standing on an IED.
A former music and fashion photographer, Giles fell out of love with superficial celebrity culture. In a new, reinvented role as a humanitarian photographer (Giles eschews the term “war photographer)” he began documenting the forgotten victims of war. “The loss of three limbs gives me greater insight and empathy into people’s suffering and hopefully put me in a better position to tell their stories. Because that’s all I am, a storyteller,” Giles revealed.
A captivated NOC audience listened intently as Giles touchingly described the human stories behind his portfolio and stories from his colourful career which included actual live headcamera footage of his own life-saving rescue by US helicopter medics.
“I knew I had lost both legs and my left arm was mangled,” he said. “Then I thought, ‘right hand? eyes?’ and I realized that all of these were intact I could still work,” Giles told delegates.
For a live version of a similar presentation, visit You Tube.