5 Mar: Che In The Sky With Jacket

The famous ‘Che’ poster, entitled Guerrillero Heroico, taken by Alberto Korda at a mass funeral in Havana on 5th March, 1960. It went on to become one of the most reproduced photographs of all time.

Korda snapped only two shots of Che Guevara that day – one portrait, one landscape – because he had actually been dispatched by a newspaper to capture images of Fidel Castro. The photo only came to prominence years later, following the guerilla’s death, when Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli obtained it and brought it back to Europe.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly ask whether the specificity of Che’s Cuban politics got lost in the mass-production of the image; explain why the Communist regime never made a penny out of sales of the photo; and reveal the surprising reason Che’s daughter believed her Dad would have enjoyed the attention…

Further Reading:

• ‘Poster boy’ (The Guardian, 2006): https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2006/jun/03/art.art

• ‘The Story Behind Che’s Iconic Photo’ (Smithsonian Magazine, 2016): https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/iconic-photography-che-guevara-alberto-korda-cultural-travel-180960615/

• ‘History vs. Che Guevara – Alex Gendler’ (Ted-Ed, 2017): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjrvKA4w9-Y

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