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Walking Wounded: Return to the Frontline

Thu Feb 21, 10-11.05pm, C4

In 2011, photographer Giles Duley suffered terrible, life-threatening injuries after stepping on an Improvised Explosive Device while working in Afghanistan. He lost both his legs and one arm, and was hospitalised for a year. Eighteen months later, and now prosthetically augmented, he resolves to take up his camera and go back in country to document Afghan amputees who have similarly lost limbs due to IEDs, landmines and bombs.

It’s an affecting story. It’s also quite correctly gruesome and difficult to watch at times. In-chopper footage of Duley’s emergency helicopter evacuation to hospital is as immediate as it gets, while his visit to a hospital in Kabul that highlights the decimated state of the Afghan health care system after years of conflict reveals the long-term effect on everyday lives. It’s a sober, serious take on a shocking subject, but humanity – that hardiest bindweed – manages to eventually force itself through.