"Portraits of Power"

What do Muammar Qaddafi, Gordon Brown, Barack Obama, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Dmitry Medvedev, Hugo Chávez, and Benjamin Netanyahu have in common...well, besides that whole "head of state" thing? They each were photographed individually, along with forty other national leaders by Platon, staff photographer for The New Yorker, during a U.N. General Assembly last September. The results are displayed in this fascinating multimedia presentation.

I don't remember how I came across this article, but I've kept it open in a browser tab for several days even though I hadn't taken the time to look at it in detail until this morning. I hadn't realized that the photographer had added an audio commentary to each photo - a brief glimpse into the process, the situation, or most interestingly, the character of the subject of each picture.

Those comments are what elevate this presentation over the normal portfolio (setting aside the fact that there perhaps has never before been such a compilation of political power by one person at one time). The photographer is careful and diplomatic with his observations, but not to the point of banality (OK, there are some banal comments, but they're excusable). And, occasionally, his remarks tell more than the photos themselves. Be sure to listen to the commentary accompanying the image of Robert Mugabe, president/dictator of Zimbabwe.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on December 10, 2009 1:05 PM.

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