RSS FeedFacebookSearch
Gary Younge
Che family album presents new image of revolutionary

But this week his family revealed an entirely different image than the one across T-shirts on the backs of the young and posters on bedsit walls.

A 305-page memoir, presented in Havana, Cuba, offers rare black-and-white shots from the Guevara family album of Che in his mid-30s disguised as a balding old man with crooked teeth with his wife Aleida March de la Torre.

The pictures are believed to have been taken around 1965 when Guevara was preparing to travel outside Cuba incognito to foment revolution in other countries. Two years later he was killed while trying to lead a rural uprising in Bolivia.

His daughter, Aleida Guevara March, said the photographs represent her last image of her father.

"This is a book that is very close to my heart," she said of the letters and photographs in Self-Portrait: Guevara.

Guevara's writings reveal an introspective man quick to admit his mistakes and demand more of himself.

Born in Argentina in 1928 to wealthy parents, Guevara trained as a doctor but was radicalised by his exposure to poverty while travelling around South and Central America, most famously on a motorcycle with his friend Alberto Granado.

In 1959 he helped lead the Cuban revolution to oust the dictator Fulgencio Batista and put Fidel Castro into power. Disillusioned with Soviet-style communism he went to Africa and South America to back guerrilla rebellions which failed.

His journey from middle-class comfort to working-class champion and his long-haired, unkempt look mirrored the aspirations and self-image of the Woodstock generation as they demonstrated against the Vietnam war.

While these photographs put him in a new light they are unlikely to overshadow the most widespread image of him taken by Alberto Korda at a memorial service in March 1960. Korda took two quick snaps of Guevara, wearing a black beret, as he stepped onto the podium and scanned the crowd. The shot of him gazing into the distance was embraced by anti-capitalists soon after his death and to Korda's irritation would be used to market Smirnoff vodka long after it.

"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," said Korda, who won a $50,000 (£27,280) in an out-of-court settlement and donated it to the Cuban medical system.

The diary entries, letters and poems in the memoir are said to provide an intimate look at the man, whose gender politics at home were anything but radical.

In a letter to his family from overseas, Guevara told his daughters to help their mother in the house and his sons to to become revolutionary soldiers.

© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc
Stranger in a Strange Land – Encounters in the Disunited States
book review
'It often takes an outsider to look inside. This is especially true of the United States.'
 follow on twitter
RT @wowfest: 📢📢📢 TIME TO ANNOUNCE OUR BLACK HISTORY MONTH FESTIVAL 1st October- 31st October Featuring @garyyounge @galdemzine @CallMrRobe
RT @theracebeat: We're looking forward to being in Glasgow next week with @garyyounge @arusaqureshi @shola_mcafro @Chess_Ess and many more…
RT @typemediacenter: #ICYMI, read @garyyounge’s recent five-part @guardian series on the challenges, tensions, and vast untapped potential…
RT @MSNBC: 2017 marked the first time firearms killed more people than motor vehicle accidents, according to a new report. https://t.co/zvf…
"Aimee was generous, always guiding outreach workers to homeless people she considered vulnerable. She was less goo… https://t.co/6M64Or8KoG
RT @LSHGofficial: The Staying Power of Peter Fryer - Discussion with contributions from @DavidOlusoga @garyyounge, and Terry Brotherstone.…
RT @DrFrancesRyan: “Austerity was absolutely a choice. You chose to hurt communities.” @Miatsf absolutely destroys Kate Andrews and a Tory…
RT @NesrineMalik: ‘It is not talent but access to the right people, the adventurism of those with nothing to lose, the financial comfort th…
RT @NLawrenceOBE: We always mark the birthday of our son Stephen. We will never forget him. I also remember others suffering the ongoing gr…
RT @hoperoadpublish: We've got that #FridayFeeling, as the weekend is prime book reading time! Looking for a great diverse read? #TheNowh
© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc