KKock Up Featured

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After losing his left arm and both legs to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in 2011, humanitarian photographer Giles Duley later returned to Afghanistan, documenting everything in the devastatingly honest 'Walking Wounded: Return to the Front Line.' An exhibition at London's KK Outlet followed, capturing the catharsis of finally photographing civilians unintentionally caught, yet intentionally shelled by vicious war crimes like Giles. Despite almost dying the first time, nerves and obvious terror were extinct from his photos; instead, an emotional governor dictated tears as easily as Dr Manhattan manipulates matter. However, underneath all great things lies an epic blunder.

The KK has so nonchalant an appearance, it disappeared behind The Breakfast Club's starving queue, destabilising my mental imagery of grand London galleries. Stereotypes performed their own burlesque act, with free entry tricking me into believing a fifteen pound booklet fee was for entry! Mind f***ing aside, I commended my boyfriend's willingness to come, hoping his Xbox brain would kindle new interests... I couldn't help the exhale on stepping inside. Upbeat music for a victims of war exhibition? Well that felt as sensitive as a boxer beating a dwarf.

Publicity from motivational speaking and Duley's documentary should have created hussle and bussle; instead, the KK provided two rude desk jockeys. Maybe I arrived at the wrong time for business, but staff rudeness still almost made my Eastender's slap rise. They not only demeaned the KK by ignoring viewers in need of assistance, but essentially sh*t on the exhibition. Prior experience in the restaurant biz taught me that chit chat about bad service spreads quicker than crabs, eventually losing customers (and tips).

Still, I must juxtapose what pissed me off with Giles' outstanding work. Never one for gore (usually shielding behind objects in the vicinity), it was amazing to manage seeing the story behind capturing a child's hand without its two severed fingers. Mirco Barchetta, a Director of Emergency, highlights the sickening fact that mines are made to mane, using deceptively innocent objects ready to release rapture upon children. Thus proving that showing cruel, unnecessary 'tactics' is necessary.

Unfortunately, The KK lost time to amend injustices on March 30th; the exhibition ended, deserving much more than Michelin sized portions. Duley's photography, The Red Crosses' rehabilitation and Emergency's uncorrupted, free hospital were starved by their 'main' course of publicity. It infuriates me further that fulfilling side dishes of booklets and posters were too extortionate for a budgeting student. Lest I forget the incomprehensive toddlers behind the 'welcome' desk. Some evidence of insulting the fantastic volunteer work provided by The Giles Duley Fund, The Red Cross and Emergency.

Duley admits, "I'm not expecting the world to change because of these pictures, but I'm hoping some people become more aware of what's going on. I hope it makes people think and just remember what it does to people." Thankfully something The KK could not prevent.

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Alexandra Pollard

My name is Alexandra Pollard. I am almost one of the elderly students at Brighton, and study English language and literature. I love music, reading, fashion and pugs.

Website: shethinksshesaqueenofstyle93.tumblr.com/

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