Photographer, human rights advocate Platon to present Atwood Lecture
Platon, the internationally-renowned photographer and human rights advocate best known for capturing iconic portraits of more than 100 world leaders, will present a public lecture and presentation of his work when he visits Salve Regina this week.
Platon will present “Powerful Portraits: An Intimate Look at Humanity and Leadership” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 9 in the Bazarsky Lecture Hall. As seating is limited, those interested in attending should RSVP at salve.edu/platon.
“I am so thrilled with the opportunity to speak at Salve Regina University,” Platon said. “We live in times of great upheaval and unrest. More than ever we, as responsible global citizens, must offer the open hand of friendship and put compassion firmly back into the formula of good leadership. Through a series of intimate stories, I look forward to sharing the humble lessons of humanity that I have been privileged to have learned on my journey as a photographer and human rights activist.”
Born in London in 1968, Platon was raised in the Greek Isles until his family returned to England in the 1970s. He attended St. Martin’s School of Art and after receiving his B.A. with honors in graphic design, went on to receive an M.A. in photography and fine art at the Royal College of Art. After working for British Vogue for several years, Platon was invited to New York City to work for the late John Kennedy Jr. and his political magazine, George.
Shooting portraits for a range of international publications including Rolling Stone, The New York Times magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and The Sunday Times magazine, Platon developed a special relationship with Time magazine, producing more than 20 covers. In 2007, he photographed Russian Premier Vladimir Putin for Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” cover. This image was awarded first prize at the World Press Photo Contest.
In 2008 he signed a multi-year contract with The New Yorker. As the staff photographer, he has produced a series of large-scale photo essays, two of which won ASME Awards in 2009 and 2010. Platon’s New Yorker portfolios have focused on many themes, including the U.S. military, portraits of world leaders and the civil rights movement.
The following year, Platon teamed up with the Human Rights Watch to help them celebrate those who fight for equality and justice in countries suppressed by political forces. These projects have highlighted human rights defenders from Burma as well as the leaders of the Egyptian revolution. Following his coverage of Burma, Platon photographed Aung San Suu Kyi for the cover of Time – days after her release from house arrest. In 2011, Platon was honored with a “Peabody Award” for collaboration on the topic of Russia’s civil society with The New Yorker magazine and Human Rights Watch.
The publication of Platon’s first monograph, “Platon’s Republic” (Phaidon Press, 2004) coincided with international exhibitions in London at the ex-Saatchi Gallery as well as the Milk Gallery in New York. His second book, “Power” – a collection of portraits of more than 100 world leaders – was published in 2011 by Chronicle and includes portraits of Barack Obama, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Hugo Chavez, Tony Blair, Robert Mugabe and Muammar Qaddafi.
Platon’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums both domestically and abroad. The New York Historical Society has exhibited a solo show of Platon’s civil rights photographs, which remain as part of the museum’s permanent collection. Other permanent collections holding Platon’s photography include The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa; The Westlicht Museum for Photography in Vienna, Austria; and the Scotland National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.
In 2013, Platon founded a nonprofit foundation named The People’s Portfolio. The foundation aspires to create a visual language that breaks barriers, expands dignity, fights discrimination and enlists the public to support human rights around the world. He serves as the creative director at large for the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Ga. Platon is currently on the board for arts and culture at the World Economic Forum.
To view Platon’s work, visit www.platonphoto.com.