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Photobook: Photographs from the Refugee Crisis by Giles Duley

- 7 years ago

I Can Only Tell You What My Eyes See: Photographs from the Refugee Crisis

In October 2015, Giles Duley was commissioned by the UNHCR to document the refugee crisis. Over the next seven months, he was to criss-cross Europe and the Middle East attempting to put a human face to one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time. His brief was simple: to follow his heart

Giles went on to visit 14 countries to tell the stories of individuals and families forced to flee their homes. He chronicled the turmoil of Lebanon, the camps of Jordan and Iraq, hellish scenes on the beaches of Lesvos and the refugees’ arrival in Germany. Bringing together over 150 original photographs and original essays by Filippo Grandi and Robert Del Naja, this book captures how even in the midst of such horror and tragedy there is humour, the unexpected and, above all, humanity.

PhotoBite was lucky enough to host a preview of the book, with Giles and the Frontline Club, where he presented the story and some of his experiences behind the book project, at the recent Byline Festival in Sussex.

“I’m not a photographer anymore, I consider myself a storyteller with a focus on humanity and love.” Giles Duley

Giles talking through his new book in the Frontline Club tent during Byline Festival, June 2017

Giles gave an exclusive talk to a packed and captivated audience in the Frontline Club tent on the Saturday of the festival, where he detailed his experiences leading to the collection of resulting images that now form the collection in this book. Incredibly, as Giles concluded his talk, he described himself as, “no longer a photographer, but a storyteller with a focus on love.”

If you buy a single photobook this year, make it this one. Rarely have we seen such a powerful collection of images in a single collection from a single photographer. Giles’ empathy, relationships and, ultimately, his access to the people making up the pages of ‘I Can Only Tell You What My Eyes See’ is stunning, and certain to mark him out as one of ‘the greats’ in photography as history reflects on these global events.

For years we have used our live shows to try and engage with the big global political issues of our time. Nothing we have done so far, though, has felt as powerful as sharing Giles’ photographs of refugees as we did with our audiences in 2016. Our tour became a platform for positivity and empathy, showing solidarity where little could be found in the mainstream media’ Robert Del NajaMassive Attack

I Can Only Tell You What My Eyes See: Photographs from the Refugee Crisis: Giles Duley.

Texts by Filippo Grandi and Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja

Available from: 12 June 2017:

including 150 original photos | £25 paperback | 9780863561795

‘This is what I love about Giles’s photography. Looking at his images, we can feel what he feels. It’s clear that he connects deeply to the human condition of people from all over the world.’

Angelina Jolie

All profits from the book will be donated to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
that protects the rights and well-being of refugees all over the world.

About the author

Read Photobook: Photographs from the Refugee Crisis by Giles Duley

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.