Iconic photo of Che Guevara taken

Iconic photo of Che Guevara taken

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Moments before he was shot to death by a soldier of the Bolivian government, the revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara told his executioner, “Shoot, coward! You are only going to kill a man!” Guevara died a short time later, on October 9, 1967 at the age of 39, but he was correct in his assertion that this would not be the end of his legacy. Today, that legacy almost always takes the form of a single photograph, Guerrillero Heroico, which some have called the most famous photograph in the world.

That photo was taken on March 5, 1960, seven years before Guevara’s death, at a funeral for workers killed in an explosion in a Cuban port that Fidel Castro’s revolutionary government blamed on the Americans. Guevara, a general in the revolution and the intellectual heavyweight of Castro’s regime, looked on as Castro delivered his fiery funeral oration. For about thirty seconds, he stepped to the front of a crowd near Castro’s rostrum, into the view of newspaper photographer Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez, also known as Alberto Korda. Korda snapped two shots of Guevara, his face resolute and his long hair flowing from under his trademark beret, before Guevara retreated back into the crowd. Perhaps due to his background as a fashion photographer, Korda took a liking to one of the images and cropped it into a portrait, even though the newspaper La Revolución declined to use it.

For several years, the now-iconic photo remained nothing more than a personal favorite of the man who took it. Korda named the picture Guerrillero Heroico—“Heroic Guerrilla Warrior”—and hung it on his wall, occasionally handing out copies to guests. It was not until 1967 that the public would first see the image, which appeared in the magazine Paris Match alongside an article about Latin American guerilla movements.

Guevara was killed in October of that year, captured while fighting with Bolivian revolutionaries. During his memorial service in Havana, an enormous print of Guerrillero Heroico was hung over the façade of the Ministry of the Interior. The service marked Che’s canonization as a martyr of global revolution, as well as the ascendance of Korda’s image as an icon of rebellion.

The following year the image of Guevara went viral. It appeared on the cover of a copy of Guevara's memoirs, published in Italy. It was also used as the cover of a literary journal advertised on the New York City subway. In the same year, Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick created a stylized version of the image, setting a black-and-white Guevara against a red background, and distributed it as widely as he could to honor Guevara’s legacy. A poster bearing Fitzpatrick’s image was shown at the Arts Laboratory in London. 1968 was a year of upheaval across the world, and Guevara's image featured prominently during the student riots that swept France in May, the populist protests of Italy’s “Hot Autumn” and the nonviolent, surrealist-inspired demonstrations of the Dutch “Provos.”

In addition to being held aloft at protests or hung in the homes of his admirers, Guevara's image has become popular as a fashion statement, adorning t-shirts and posters wherever counterculture is revered. Rage Against the Machine used a modified version of the image as the cover for their 1993 single “Bombtrack,” and Madonna referenced it on the cover of her 2003 album American Life. Korda succeeded in stopping Smirnoff Vodka from using his photo in one of its campaigns, but it has appeared in countless other advertisements, including ads by Nike and a campaign by Taco Bell which featured a Chihuahua in revolutionary garb.

Guerrillero Heroico

Guerrillero Heroico was photographed on March 5, 1960 by Cuban photographer by Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez, known better as Alberto Korda, and is among the most iconic images of the 20th Century. Even those who have never heard of Ernesto Che Guevara are familiar with this ubiquitous famous image of him.

Guerrillero Heroico (English: “Heroic Guerrilla Fighter”) is an iconic photo of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara wearing his black beret taken by Alberto Korda. It was taken on March 5, 1960, in Havana, Cuba, at a memorial service for victims of the La Coubre explosion and by the end of the 1960s turned the charismatic and controversial leader into a cultural icon. Korda has said that at the moment he shot the picture, he was drawn to Guevara’s facial expression, which showed “absolute implacability” as well as anger and pain. Years later, Korda would say that the photo showed Che’s firm and stoic character. Guevara was 31 at the time the photo was taken.

Emphasizing the image’s ubiquitous nature and wide appeal, the Maryland Institute College of Art called the picture a symbol of the 20th century and the world’s most famous photo. Versions of it have been painted, printed, digitized, embroidered, tattooed, silk-screened, sculpted or sketched on nearly every surface imaginable, leading the Victoria and Albert Museum to say that the photo has been reproduced more than any other image in photography. Jonathan Green, director of the UCR/California Museum of Photography, has speculated that “Korda’s image has worked its way into languages around the world. It has become an alpha-numeric symbol, a hieroglyph, an instant symbol. It mysteriously reappears whenever there’s a conflict. There isn’t anything else in history that serves in this way”.

As a lifelong communist and supporter of the Cuban Revolution until his death, Alberto Korda claimed no payment for his picture. A modified version of the portrait through the decades was also reproduced on a range of different media, though Korda never asked for royalties. Korda reasoned that Che’s image represented his revolutionary ideals, and thus the more his picture spread the greater the chance Che’s ideals would spread as well. Korda’s refusal to seek royalties for the vast circulation of his photograph “helped it become the ultimate symbol of Marxist revolution and anti-imperialist struggle.”

However, Korda did not want commercialization of the image in relation to products he believed Guevara would not support, especially alcohol. This belief was displayed for the first time in 2000, when in response to Smirnoff using Che’s picture in a vodka commercial, Korda claimed his moral rights (a form of copyright law) and sued advertising agency Lowe Lintas and Rex Features, the company that supplied the photograph. Lintas and Rex claimed that the image was in the public domain. The final result was an out of court settlement for USD $50,000 to Korda, which he donated to the Cuban healthcare system, stating “if Che was still alive, he would have done the same.”

After the settlement, Korda reiterated that he was not against its propagation altogether, telling reporters:

“As a supporter of the ideals for which Che Guevara died, I am not averse to its reproduction by those who wish to propagate his memory and the cause of social justice throughout the world, but I am categorically against the exploitation of Che’s image for the promotion of products such as alcohol, or for any purpose that denigrates the reputation of Che.”[12]

Passed out to the occasional friend and published in a few small Cuban publications, Che’s image remained relatively unknown for 7 years. The photograph was then acquired by wealthy Italian publisher and intellectual Giangiacomo Feltrinelli in 1967. Feltrinelli had just returned from Bolivia where he had hoped his fame would help in negotiating the release of French journalist and professor Régis Debray. Debray had been arrested in Bolivia in connection with guerrilla operations led by Che Guevara. As Guevara’s eventual capture or death appeared to be imminent with the CIA closing in on his whereabouts, Feltrinelli acquired the rights to publish Che’s captured Bolivian Diary. At this time Feltrinelli asked Cuban officials where to obtain Guevara images and was directed to Korda’s studio where he presented a letter of introduction from the government. The document asked for Korda’s assistance in finding a good portrait of Che. Korda knew right away that his favorite image of Che was perfect and pointed to the 1960 shot of Che hanging on the wall, saying that the photo was the best of those he had taken of Che. Feltrinelli agreed and ordered 2 prints. When he returned the next day to pick them up Korda told him that because he was a friend of the revolution he did not have to pay.

Upon his return to Italy, Feltrinelli disseminated thousands of copies of the poster to raise awareness of Che’s precarious situation and impending demise. Later in 1968 after his October 9, 1967 execution, Che’s Bolivian Diary with Korda’s photo on the cover was released worldwide. Feltrinelli also created posters to promote the book, crediting the copyright to (c) Libreria Feltrinelli 1967 (in the lower left hand corner of the image) with no mention of Korda. By this time, Korda’s image had officially entered the public consciousness. Alberto Korda later expounded that if Feltrinelli had paid him just one lira for each reproduction, that he would have received millions. However, Korda also expressed that he forgave him, because through his actions, the image became famous.

Raising the Flag, the infamous photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal depicts five U.S. soldiers raising the United States flag at the top of Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. Later on, it became the most reproduced photo of all time and one of the most significant images of WWII.

How Che Guevara’s iconic image became a design classic –

In 2017, An Post issued a one-Euro stamp bearing the graphic image of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death. Designed by graphic design agency Red&Grey, the stamp is based on an artwork by Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick.

The 1959 Cuban revolution, led by Fidel Castro, brought about the transformation of Cuba’s society. Cultural exchange through literature, images, film and art brought the revolution to the world. This image of Guevara spread rapidly following his assassination in Bolivia in 1967.

The famous ‘Che’ photograph, entitled Guerrillero Heroico, was taken by Alberto Korda at a funeral in Havana in 1960. Korda took the photograph while working as a photojournalist for the government newspaper Revolución, but was not published due to its poor quality. Korda then gave Italian editor Giangiacomo Feltrinelli the photograph and, having obtained the exclusive rights to Guevara’s Bolivian Diary following his death in 1967, put the image on the cover.

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From LibEnt Music, trailer for Kordavision, a documentary about Alberto Diaz Gutierrez Korda, the photographer who shot the iconic portrait of Che Guevara

Fitzpatrick discovered the Korda photograph – conflicting accounts suggest he might have got it from Dutch anarchist group Provo or from the German magazine Stern – and used it to create a black and red screen-printed poster soon after Guevara’s death. This version was reproduced widely and gave the ‘Che’ image universal appeal as a symbol of revolutionary heroism. Heroic Guerrilla was the incarnation that gave the image currency, a co-creation emerging from various connections within radical European circles at the time.

Images were a powerful force in garnering international support for a revolutionary Cuba. Photographs that created the image of the revolution were circulated in newspapers, in touring exhibitions and were later re-purposed by graphic artists. The ‘Che’ image inspired protest movements, became a rallying symbol for Marxist groups and was re-purposed to sell all manner of commodities.

By the end of the 20th century, the Guevara image was not only powerful, but also very marketable. The Che Guevara T-shirt, for instance, which began as a countercultural statement was later sold as a fashion item. Undoubtedly, many wore the t-shirt with only a vague notion of who he was.

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From RTÉ Six One News, 2017 report on An Post’s issue of a stamp featuring Che Guevara

One of the curious aspects to the ‘Che’ image was its transnational appeal. The photograph, and the graphic image it spawned, came about through Guevara’s creativity in how he presented himself as a revolutionary figure, one of a cast of characters who, partly by accident, partly by design, created an attractive, dynamic image that brought the Cuban revolution to the world.

Revolutionary images were not fictions, though, but are rooted in the events of 1953 to 1959, whereby guerrilla warfare demanded flexible, informal and unauthorised military methods. If creativity was a feature of guerrilla warfare, it was also at work in fashioning the irregular appearance of the rebels.

Cuban rebels – both men and women – wore field caps, berets, fatigues, and various clothing styles combining civilian and military clothing often made combatants indistinguishable from civilians. Male bravado distinguished the rebel leadership whose cowboy hats, long hair and cigar-smoking are by now well known.

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From RTÉ Archives, Mark Little reports for RTÉ News from Havana in 1997 on the state funeral for Che Guevara 30 years after his death in Bolivia

In Norberto Fuentes’ biography of Castro, the leader of the revolution jokes that Guevara “was scruffy because he thought that was the poster child for rebellion to the extreme”. But Castro goes on to admit that the improvised look grew on him: “I must admit, in the end Che’s worn and crumpled clothing would give things a fresh air that we hadn’t conceived of beforehand.” US news editors were also taken with the casual militarism of the insurgents and pursued a narrative that chimed with the emerging counterculture, nicknaming the rebels Castro’s barbudos (‘bearded ones’).

There was a growing awareness amongst those who disliked Cuban guerrillas that their image was capturing the popular imagination. When the British government declassified 1960 documents from the British embassy in Havana in 2004, they revealed concerns with Guevara’s involvement in the revolution and his government position.

The documents paint a vivid description of Guevara as a “bearded Argentinian, with his Irish charm and his inevitable military fatigue uniform, [who] has exercised considerable fascination.” Their focus on Guevara’s Irish heritage and dressed-down appearance is revealing and suggests this transnational figure for radical socialism embodied a new kind of threat to the establishment.

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From RTÉ Archives, Che Guevara talks to RTÉ News reporter Seán Egan during a stopover in Dublin in 1964 with Aer Lingus air hostess Felima Archer acting as interpreter

On the first day cover for the An Post stamp, a quote from Guevara’s father, Ernesto Guevara Lynch, reads “in my son’s veins flowed the blood of the Irish rebels,” but how significant is the Irish connection? We might dismiss such romantic allusions to Ireland’s history of revolution, but Guevara valued solidarity with various anti-imperialist struggles and went on to assist insurgents in the Congo and Bolivia.

At a time when images were circulating with increased velocity, style was not a trivial matter in conveying political struggles. The unusual birth and enduring appeal of the Heroic Guerrilla image suggests that style matters even in military conflict. The Argentinian with Irish ancestry who crafted a revolutionary image resonated with people in various regions, including Ireland. As Castro came to realise, having a “poster child for rebellion” can be an effective weapon in a media age.

Dr Jane Tynan is Assistant Professor of Design History and Theory in the Department of Arts and Culture, History and Antiquity at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent or reflect the views of RTÉ

The Death of Che Guevara

Che Guevara disappeared from the political scene in April 1965 and his whereabouts have been much debated since. His death has been reported several times during the past two-and-a-half years, in the Congo and in the Dominican Republic, but has never been proven. After leading communist insurrections in Guatemala, Cuba and Congo, Che Guevara’s next stop was Bolivia, where he was less than successful. On October 7 1967, his campsite was attacked, and Guevara was wounded and taken prisoner. He shouted “Do not shoot! I am Che Guevara and worth more to you alive than dead.” However, he refused to be interrogated and the Bolivian government decided to execute him, carefully orchestrating the execution to make sure that the bullet wounds appear consistent with the official story which stated that Che had been killed in action.

The day after his execution on October 10, 1967, Guevara’s body was then lashed to the landing skids of a helicopter and flown to nearby Vallegrande where photographs were taken, showing a figure described by some as “Christ-like” lying on a concrete slab in the laundry room of the Nuestra Señora de Malta hospital. The above iconic shot was taken by Freddy Alberto. After the photos, his hands were cut off, so that they could be taken to Buenos Aires for fingerprint identification. He was buried in an unmarked mass grave.

The day before Alberto Korda took his iconic photograph of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, a ship had exploded in Havana Harbor, killing the crew and dozens of dockworkers. Covering the funeral for the newspaper Revolución, Korda focused on Fidel Castro, who in a fiery oration accused the U.S. of causing the explosion. The two frames he shot of Castro’s young ally were a seeming afterthought, and they went unpublished by the newspaper. But after Guevara was killed leading a guerrilla movement in Bolivia nearly seven years later, the Cuban regime embraced him as a martyr for the movement, and Korda’s image of the beret-clad revolutionary soon became its most enduring symbol. In short order, Guerrillero Heroico was appropriated by artists, causes and admen around the world, appearing on everything from protest art to underwear to soft drinks. It has become the cultural shorthand for rebellion and one of the most recognizable and reproduced images of all time, with its influence long since transcending its steely-eyed subject.

Explore more iconic images that changed the world. Visit the TIME Shop to purchase prints, posters and more.

"Afghan Girl" By Steve McCurry, 1984 / Nikon Fm2

Afghan Girl is a 1984 photographic portrait by journalist Steve McCurry. It appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic. The identity of the photo's subject was not initially known but in early 2002, she was identified as Sharbat Gula. She was an Afghan child who was living in the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Pakistan during the time of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan when she was photographed.

This internationally famous photo appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic, and has been called “the First World's Third World ‘Mona Lisa’." National Geographic returned some decades later to relocate the Afghan refugee (Sharbat Gula) for a follow-up photo shoot and story. It is so famous it has its own Wikipedia entry under “Afghan Girl.”

You can still get secondhand Speed Graphic cameras, like the ones Yasushi Nago and Sam Shere used, for one to several hundred dollars, depending on where you look.

If you&rsquove ever wondered who made the first commercial camera, then wonder no more! It was George Eastman, founder of Kodak. He built the camera in 1888. However, it was the size of a microwave. By 1900, Eastman released the Kodak Brownie, a simple and cheap camera. An improved model was made just a year later.

The man who took Che's `iconic' picture

The Cuban photographer, Alberto Korda, who died on May 25th aged 72 while visiting Paris for an exhibition of his work, will be best remembered for his portrait of Ernesto "Che" Guevara - one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century, and one of the few that truly deserve to be called "iconic".

Born in Havana, the son of a railway worker, the young Alberto Korda had a variety of jobs, among them runner for a betting shop and door-to-door encyclopaedia salesman, before he started working as a photographer's assistant.

He took up photography with frankly macho motives. "My main aim was to meet women," he once confessed. "I wanted to be near beautiful women."

He succeeded in marrying Cuba's most beautiful model of the day, Niurka, although the marriage and two others ended in divorce.

Naturally charming and ebullient, he soon established himself as a successful fashion photographer, changing his surname from Diaz Gutierrez to that of the British film-maker, Alexander Korda, because it sounded like "Kodak" to his Cuban ear. He soon had his own studio in Havana, and an expensive playboy lifestyle.

He spent 10 years as Fidel Castro's official photographer, using his skills to humanise the revolutionary leader's image in off-duty scenes - sharing moments with Ernest Hemingway and Jean-Paul Sartre, or confronting a caged tiger at the New York Zoo.

It was while on an assignment for the newspaper Revolucion in 1960 that he took the famous photo of Che Guevara, at a protest rally after a Belgian freighter carrying arms to Cuba was blown up by counter-revolutionaries while being unloaded in Havana harbour, killing more than 100 dock-workers.

As he later recalled, it was a damp, cold day. Using a 90 mm lens, he was panning his Leica across the figures on the dais when Che's face jumped into the viewfinder. The look in Che's eyes startled him so much that he instinctively lurched backwards, and immediately pressed the button: "There appears to be a mystery in those eyes, but in reality it is just blind rage at the deaths of the day before, and the grief for their families."

Ironically, Alberto Korda's picture was relegated to an inside page of Revolucion, giving pride of place to Castro. The original remained on his studio wall until 1967, when he gave two prints as a gift to the left-wing Italian publisher, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli (the man who first published Dr Zhivago in the West, and who was blown up by a car-bomb in 1972).

A few weeks later, Che Guevara was captured and killed in Bolivia - and became an instant martyr. When Castro addressed a memorial rally in Havana's Plaza de la Revolucion, Korda's photo was used as a mural on the building facing the podium it is still there.

Feltrinelli instantly spotted the value of the image, using one print for the cover of Guevara's diaries, and giving the other to the makers of the posters which were soon being carried throughout Europe in the protest marches of 1968.

This image of Che Guevara, noble and defiant, with tilted beret and flowing locks, rapidly spread to T-shirts and album covers, and was soon taken up by advertisers targeting youth, until it rivalled the Mona Lisa as perhaps the most replicated image ever.

But he received no royalties Feltrinelli had used the photo without permission, and even failed to credit him.

A lifelong smoker and rum drinker, he told marvellous anecdotes of the ascetic revolutionaries. "Once, I had to take pictures of Che cutting cane with the workers," he said. "He made me work for a week cutting cane before he'd let me take a shot. He was hard that way."

From 1968 to 1978, he concentrated on underwater photography, until a Japanese exhibition in 1978 stimulated international interest in his work. From the early 1980s, he lived in modest semi-retirement, although he accompanied Castro on a recent visit to Venezuela and Mexico.

In 1999, he appeared in the pre-title sequence of Wim Wenders's documentary Buena Vista Social Club rifling through photos from the heroic early days - here is Che, for example, playing golf with Castro ("Who won?" "Fidel, because Che let him.") - which ends with an image of a demonstration outside the US embassy that he called "David and Goliath". For some reason, Wenders fails to credit him.

Speaking in Havana late last year, Alberto Korda, who leaves two sons and two daughters, said: "Life may not have granted me a great fortune in money, but it has given me the even greater fortune of becoming a figure in the history of photography."


In the documentary Chevolution, Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez is an essential character in the creation and reproduction of Che as an icon. Alberto Korda was a well-known Cuban fashion photographer and socialite. The documentary explains how after capturing a powerful image of a poor infant Cuban girl, which he titled La Niña, he decided to leave the fashion world and use his photographic talent to promote and document the Cuban Revolution. Korda began taking pictures for the propaganda newspaper Revolución. The documentary also provides an anecdote about Korda asking Che if he could take his picture, Guevara responded by asking Korda where he was from and if he had ever cut sugar. Korda informed him that he was from Havana and had never cut sugar. Guevara stipulated that once Korda had cut sugar cane for a week, he would be free to take Guevara's picture.

Chevolution commemorates when Korda snapped the photo at the massive funeral in the Plaza de Revolución for those who had died in the bombing of a boat carrying weapons from Belgium, La Coubre, in Havana Harbor. Korda was fortunate to captured only two photos of Guevara that day and after submitting them, the newspaper chose not to use them. One of the two photos included the Guerillero Heroico. Living in communist Cuba, copyright laws were non-existent so Korda initially obtained no rights to the portrait.

Chevolution explains how the politically radical, outspoken, and self-proclaimed communist Giangiacomo Feltrinelli was the first to mass-produce the photo by producing hundreds of thousands of posters of the image. Feltrinelli printed these posters with “copyright Feltrinelli 1976” in the bottom left hand corner giving no credit to Korda. This has caused some controversy as some, including Korda, claim that Feltrinelli made a lot of money from the image while others contest that this is simply not true.

The documentary also emphasizes that it is unclear exactly when the first time the image was used. The photo gained widespread notoriety after Guevara's death in Bolivia. Critics in the documentary claim that at Guevara's funeral Fidel Castro used the image on a banner, which served as a backdrop as he delivered Guevara's eulogy. Throughout the late 1960s, worldwide student movements, and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States utilized the image as a symbol of struggle, rebellion and revolution. Chevolution describes the moments in which after a visit with Jean-Paul Sartre, Korda gave the French philosopher a copy of the photograph Sartre in turn gave it to artist Jim Fitzpatrick. In the documentary Fitzpatrick shares that after hearing the story of Guevara's murder he was devastated and very sad. He then decided to add his artistic touch to the image in an effort to ensure that Guevara's legacy lived on. In a style known as pop art, he set the black and white portrait of Guevara against a red backdrop with a gold star on his beret. Fitzpatrick purposely chose not to copyright the image, as he states that he wanted it to "breed like rabbits" The documentary describes how by the 1990s the image had evolved from one used as a form of protest to one used to make a profit. Korda felt that he too should share in the profit of the photo and hired lawyers to attain the copyright image. While Korda did not want to keep people from using it all together, he did want to limit what kinds of messages and products the image was used in an effort to keep the image from being used for commercial or inappropriate purposes.

Louis Lopez and Trisha Ziff directed Chevolution, a documentary that honors the longevity of Che Guevara's photo taken by Alberto Korda. It was released in theaters on 1 April 2008 and released on DVD on 19 January 2010. It has a running time of 1 hour and 26 minutes. The film provides commentary from a variety of perspectives including: actors Antonio Banderas and Gael García Bernal, the author of "Che Guevara a revolutionary life" Jon Lee Anderson, the American rock band Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, photographers Jose Figueroa and Laborio Naval, artists Shepard Fairey and Jim Fitzpatrick, and long-time friend Alberto Granado. [2]

In the Chevolution documentary the image of Che Guevara is demonstrated as one that has survivability and has had presence throughout historic events such as social movements and demonstrations. The image of Che conveys different meanings depending on the people, where and at what period in time is being used. He represents people involved in movements who are empowered by him. The Zapatistas for instance, continue to harvest the seed that Che left instill in them and continues to have meaning. Che is the ultimate icon for rebels. Chevolution examines the importance of interpretation of the famous and mass-produced image of Che Guevara, which his due to the lack of copyright. The lack of copyright is also argued to reflect the ideals of Che in regards to capitalism. Che, as discussed in the documentary, represents the people and their struggle. Che has been adopted in social and political struggles. The image has taken on many different meanings through its multitude of representations.

The Che image and idealization continues to carry powerful meaning and is mass-produced with various interpretations that evolve over time. In the documentary Chevolution the image is described as a symbol that represents something unique to each individual and cause. The documentary describes how its multiple meanings and interpretations are displayed through the different forms of art and commercialization of the portrait. Through various art forms it has been and continues to be modified and reconstructed to have different meaning or manipulate its representation. Commercialization of the image has expanded to pictures, swimming suits, beer, wallets, socks, shirts, cigarettes, even in cartoons such as South Park and The Simpsons. The commercialization of Che in all forms has contribute the recognition and persistence of the icon. Che was a devout Marxist who rejected the corporate model and capitalism. Chevolution also discusses how capitalist society has overtaken the Che image and whether or not it reflects his ideologies.

In the documentary a young Cuban man is captured being tattooed with the face of Che on his arm. He says that as Cubans they are told stories and constantly talked about Che in school at an early age, which gave him the childhood inspiration to get a Che tattoo. Che serves as an icon that represents the struggle of the Cuban people and a heroic freedom fighter. The documentary also illustrates how the image of Che reflects heroism to Cubans and how it is intertwined with Cubanness.

Chevolution also discusses the interpretation of Che's death and the images that showed him lying dead on a piece of cement in Bolivia. The interpretation was the comparison of Che with Jesus Christ. As dramatic as it is, the documentary discusses how this comparison happened immediately after images of a lifeless Che were released. Che repeatedly claimed his solidarity with the people's struggle and believed in victory by any means possible. The documentary also compares the cause of Jesus' death and comments on the idea of collective guilt felt amongst many as Che died for people's freedom. Chevolution talks about Che's image as a sacred icon in Bolivia and how Bolivians revere him as a saint. The documentary highlights the significance in recognizing the interpretation of Che in Vallagrande, Bolivia. In Bolivia people refer and pray to Saint Ernesto de la Higuera, although the Catholic Church does not recognize Ernesto Che Guevara as a Saint. Che has also been seen as a representation of Christ. Che's beret is interpreted as his crown of thorns, which becomes Che's crown of thoughts. The documentary shows Armando Krieger, an Argentine composer who plays a piano piece meanwhile there is a female singing in an angelical voice in words that praise Che. This religious aspect of society reflects the power of Che, his ideals, image, and the hope he provided the poor and less fortunate.

Chevolution also discusses the usage of Che's image by Rage Against the Machine on the 1992 single, "Bombtrack". [3] In Chevolution, Tom Morello, guitarist of the band, explains how the use of Che's image on instruments on stage represents a 5th member. Che represents the bands political ideas and is used in a radical context. Morello also says to believe that Che's image is a public domain piece and people as a whole own the image. Che represented and still represents poor, powerless and marginalized people who want freedom and their human rights to be respected. Che's ideals did not die when he died, they live on through his image. Shepard Fairey a well-known artist contributes to the documentary by stating that the image of Che has become an important aspect of pop culture and culture creation. Shepard talks about his own recreation or exploitation as he refers to his interpretation of the image. Participating and commenting on this specific politically influential image Fairey explains that his reproduction of the image conveys the continuing revolutionary message that Che represents. He also talks about his work within the capitalist system and emphasized on the consumption of Che’s followers and how his creation adds to the many others that exist. The many different forms of admiration for Che have contributed to his legacy and in this case the documentary provides a vast array of songs dedicated to Che. Throughout the documentary the following songs are played, “El Che 2007” by Armando Krieger and performed by Roberto Falcon, “Che Guevara T-shirt Wearer” by Luke Hoskins and performed by The Clap, [4] “Hasta Siempre” by Carlos Manuel Puebla and performed by Boikot. [5]

New (and disturbing) pictures of Che Guevara right after death resurface

So said Ernesto “Che” Guevara before his capture on the day before his execution. Guevara is now a communist martyr — the Argentine doctor staring into the distance on many a T-shirt and dorm-room poster who devoted himself to Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba, then tried to export it South America and Africa. He may be better known to some as the romantic character played by Antonio Banderas in the film version of Evita.

On Oct. 9, 1967, Guevara, 39, was executed by Bolivian soldiers — soldiers trained and equipped by the U.S. Green Beret and CIA operatives, according to declassified documents at the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Now, more than 40 years after Guevara’s death, new pictures of his body have resurfaced in Ricla, a town in northern Spain.

WARNING: The images below may be disturbing because of their graphic nature.

The photos were found among the belongings of Luis Cuartero, a former missionary in Bolivia who died in 2012. His nephew, Imanol Arteaga found them after his death. According to Agence France-Presse, Cuartero was given the photographs by a French journalist. “They were in boxes with a load of photos of Bolivia,” Arteaga told AFP.

Watch the video: Chinese executions exposed by rare photos (July 2022).


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