Sunday, June 04, 2006

che guevara

This photograph on the right, by Alberto Korda, still carries the crease from where I folded my newspaper yesterday. It's just like me to embrace little imperfections like that. But nothing can take away from the unspeakable perfection of this fiercely beautiful, iconic image of the revolutionary, Che Guevara. This, to me, is the greatest photograph ever taken.

And yesterday, The Guardian (UK) provided a boon for Guevaranistas, with a profile of this image also known as Guerrillero Heroico.

Taken in Cuba in 1960 at a scene of national mourning - a funeral for victims of an explosion in Havana harbour.

Here's the late Korda's recollection of how he snapped Guevara.
"At the funeral ceremony for the dockers... Fidel Castro claimed immediately that it was the work of the Americans. Crowded on to the improvised platform beside him were Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, and behind, in a zippered jacket arriving late, was Che Guevara, the man who had invited them to Cuba. Alberto Korda, a photographer then working for the newspaper Revolución, snapped away at the celebrities, recalling the event years later to Jorge Castañeda, one of Che's biographers. "Che was not visible; he was standing behind the rostrum. But for a moment there was an empty space in the front row, and in the background the figure of Che appeared. He unexpectedly entered my viewfinder and I shot the photo horizontally. I immediately realised that the image of him was almost a portrait, with the clear sky behind him."

Here's what the writer of the article has to say about Che
"I have written many times, in this paper and elsewhere, of meeting Che Guevara and being struck by his magnetic physical attraction, comparable to the aura of a rock star. Almost everyone had the same impression, and journalists were particularly susceptible. I thought he was beautiful."

Beautiful indeed...

An exhibition, Che Guevara: Revolutionary and Icon opens this week @ the V&A in London and displays till August 28.


Blogger the flying monkeys said...

Thanks for this post.

The photo of Che is indeed charismatic and undoubtedly a classic.

As icon of of socialist revolutionary movements worldwide, he is no less than legendary. In today’s ravaged world of economic and social inequality, his quest to pursue the emancipation of the poor was cut short when he was excuted without trial.

Such a great man was never destined to be forgotton. His reported last words say it all…"Shoot, coward, you're only going to kill a man". We can only hope others will continue to follow in his footsteps to conquer tyranny and oppression so evident in the world today.

10:12 pm, June 04, 2006  
Blogger Onyeka George Nwelue said...

A Double Thank You for this post. I have gone through them, and they are really interesting. I think Wale Okediran would be able to wake ANA from this deep slumber, though Folu has been great in the Lagos chapter...

11:40 pm, June 04, 2006  

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