Platon: Speaking Truth to Power

Platon: Speaking Truth to Power

Peabody Award-winning photographer Platon exemplifies the meaning of #speechmoves

WSB will partner with The Female Quotient to host a panel discussion to highlight the impending launch of the #speechmoves movement on Sunday, March 11 at 4 p.m. in The Girls’ Lounge at SXSW 2018 in Austin, Texas.

The panel is slated to include a foursome of powerful, thought-provoking women, including Kat Cole, COO and president of Focus Brands; Hearst Magazines Chief Content Officer Joanna Coles; WSB Chief Revenue Officer Sandy Scearce Lutton; and Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient and founder of The Girls’ Lounge.

Want to attend? You can RSVP here.

Platon: photographer, speaker, storyteller

#speechmoves highlights people whose words have had a profound impact on contemporary society.  The movement reminds everyone — all of us — that the words we choose matter.  That does not change, regardless of where those words are used. Speech has the strength to inspire, motivate, create and change, and we should all embrace that power.

At first glance, the moderator of this panel on the power of speech may seem a little oddly placed. While there’s no doubt that world-renowned photographer Platon is one of the most compelling communicators on the globe, his most well-known statements have been made with his camera.

Why choose Platon, a photographer, to not only lead this discussion but to partner with WSB and Great Bowery Film to conceive and produce a movement dedicated to speech?

Because he is, in fact, the consummate storyteller. As a photographer, Platon (a skilled public speaker in his own right) is a correspondent reporting on the human condition.. He is a man who knows how to maximize the impact of his art.

“There was no better partner to bring this to life than Plato,” Ms. Lutton notes. “A master storyteller and humanitarian, he was able to capture that human connection in the work.”

“I was thrilled to partner with WSB to bring (#speechmoves) to life,” Platon says. “The spoken word and sharing ideas is what makes us human. You are never more human — or connected with humanity — than when you experience a thought simultaneously with another person…The key is that regardless of whether we all agree with each other’s opinions, freedom of speech is a fundamental human right. #speechmoves will serve as a reminder of this, as well as a reminder to consider what, where, and how we’re speaking.”

Who is Platon?

Even if you are not immediately familiar with Platon, there is an excellent chance you’ve been moved by his work. Platon, the photographer, shot one of the most memorable photos of Vladimir Putin after the Russian president was named TIME Magazine’s 2007 Man of the Year. He’s snapped iconic shots of actors like George Clooney and Rachel Weisz. He captured images of sexual assault survivors in The Congo.

“A portrait, to me, is about closeness, it’s about truth,” he told Judy Woodruff of PBS’ Newshour. “Sometimes, someone’s fame, power and success actually becomes a prison, and the person knows better than anybody they can’t live up to that ideal. My job is not to be disrespectful, but to be authentic, to say, who are you really?”

Platon: Helping others find their voice

Platon, the philanthropist, knows that there are many ways speech moves . He is helping people throughout the world find their voice.

Platon is a winner of the World Press Photo contest. He is a Peabody Award recipient.

Awards, however, are not his greatest legacy.

Platon is also the founder of The People’s Portfolio. This non-profit foundation is dedicated to breaking barriers, fighting discrimination, and supporting global human rights initiatives.

“The People’s Portfolio focuses on issues connected to human rights, civil rights and the importance of a more compassionate form of leadership in today’s society,” Platon says. “We work very closely with NGO partners (and) take their statistics, and bring them to life. We humanize them through powerful portraiture and powerful filmed interviews.

“NGOs do incredible work around the world today, but when it comes to communication and storytelling, they often lack the resources to do this properly,” he notes. “We offer this service — to collaborate, to be informed by their powerful statistics, and to bring these stories to life in an iconic way that celebrates ordinary people who stand up as heroes in the face of oppression around the world.”

For more information on #speechmoves, visit the movement’s website.



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