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Che
          The Symbol Che 
 
                            Surely, this photograph, taken on March 5, 1960, one rather cool day 
                     when Che participated in the farewell ceremony of mourning for the 
                     sabotage victims of the French ship "La Coubre",  is the most widely 
                     reproduced image in the whole world. With this image an icon of a 
                     flesh and bone human was created, adored by many and hated by 
                     many others.
For Alberto Diaz Gutierrez (known as Korda), it was part of a collective work of art. He died at 
age 72, having the privilege of writing in life that:


        "... I was lucky to take that  picture  and  leave  something  for  humanity.  I  don't 
        leave great palaces, yachts, or other things, but I  leave  a sample  of  my  work  in 
        my passage through this world. 
        In the eyes of Che, in his stare, at that  recise  moment  his   whole   character   is 
        drawn, painted, written. It is more than a dream, it is  the  struggle   of   one   man 
        for what he believed in right up until the end  of  his   life;   it   was   not   a   dream 
        because his thoughts and dreams were real,  so  what  is  left  for  humans  but  to 
        fight  for the things we believe  in.   It's   the   only   thing   that   gives   substance 
        to your life. 
        The beauty of this life is to dedicate your   energy  with   what   little   you   can   do 
        to help others, and Che to the end of his life did that. For me  he   is   an   immortal 
        hero and history will remember him as that."


The  photograph taken by Korda,  helped  strengthen the idea of  Ernesto Guevara as an icon, an  
image that became more famous than the Mona Lisa, which up until then was the absolute art icon.
It was said that Korda took just two photographs of Che Guevara that day.
The photograph itself would not have the slightest value if there had not been an interest group  
that  protected it, anointed it and gave it the significance that it now has, converting it into 
an archetype rather than an addition to human knowledge.


        

© Jaime A. Maldonado
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