Platon and Lavazza Ask: What Are You Doing to Better the World?
The Lavazza calendar is one of the most prestigious photography assignments in the world. It demands the highest mastery of craft and creativity to create beautiful and provocative images. Platon was an obvious choice. In past years Joey L. and Erwin Olaf have both photographed for the calendar, as well as Annie Leibovitz, Steve McCurry, Martin Schoelle, and David LaChapelle. For 2018, Lavazza invited Platon to photograph the calendar, but because it’s Platon he had to do things a little differently. Each year Lavazza’s calendar becomes increasingly more globally aware, and for 2018 Platon and the Italian coffee giant brought it to the next level. Platon took the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for making the world a better place by 2030, and photographed an activist, group, or leader who encapsulates each of those goals. Because these goals go beyond time or a neat schedule, there are 17 photographs instead of the traditional 12 to remind us that it’s always time to better the world.
“I have been invited by Lavazza to celebrate a group of champions and all of these amazing people that I had the privilege to work with on this project delivered incredible messages for us,” says Platon. “I tried to capture their majesty, their magic, their power.”
Traditionally, the Lavazza calendar is rich in color and sumptuous imagery, but this year Platon made the images about portraiture and telling the story of these incredible figures. He wanted to connect us with each of the 17 SDGs and take inspiration from their stories. A-list celebrities like Jeremy Renner and Andre Agassi are mixed in with names you may recognize like Alexandra Cousteau, and those whose stories you’ll learn for the first time. Many wear teeshirts, and each is presented like we could engage with them immediately. There’s a good reason for that. “Muhammad Ali once told me you have to help people see themselves in a story. If you can get people to see themselves in the stories that you put forward then you can achieve greatness. And what I present to you is a new set of heroes,” says Platon. “There’s energy here, there’s passion here, there’s no negativity, there’s no accusations. This is a positive revolution. These are heroes.”
The yearlong calendar is up and running, with all the stories available to view right now. Click through, learn what you can from each of these heroes, take inspiration, and maybe apply what you learn to your own life, your own goals. The name of the calendar is practically an indictment itself: “2030: What Are You Doing?” Ask yourself this question, and we’ll move forward together.
“We live in a time of great connectivity, what this project represents is that magical thing called a shared experience. Where we celebrate our unique and beautiful differences. It’s about coming together to solve common goals,” says Platon. “The next generation is in this project and we want you to be with us.”
Read more about what Platon's goals at Lavazza.