“The Craziest Guy in the Room”

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Taken from The Washington Post's Tumblr Style Blog via Future Journalism Project

Platon, who has photographed his share of daunting subjects that include Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said Gaddafi was different. “He was vacant. There was no emotion, there was no spirit. It was void of something. When you come face to face with that it’s overwhelming, and that’s what I was trying to get in the picture.”

After the shoot, Platon said, “He put his hand on his heart to say thank you, and I did the same. And then, elegantly, he walked away.”

Platon then caught a glimpse of Gaddafi’s speech. “It was written in red crayon, in giant letters, like a six-year-old kid would write it. And it was written on about twenty pieces of tatty paper torn out of a book, in Arabic. It felt like notes of a madman.”


photograph by Joseph Chi Lin

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