The first I remember of Che, is of course, seeing the iconic T-shirt. I didn’t know much about him and it confused me to think that a “communist icon” was worn by so many capitalist Americans. When I was in high school I studied Latin American history, and saw The Motorcycle Diaries film, which sparked my interest in learning more about Che.
I began to read multiple biographies of him, and many of his writings, and studying the Cuban Revolution and Latin American socialism in and out of class. Since then, I’ve stacked up a nice section of my bookshelf with Che’s biography, writing, and photographs (he worked as a photographer for a bit when he lived in Mexico, before he met Fidel).
What I admire about Ernesto is his compassion for the people of Latin America, especially the suffering, poverty-stricken populations like many of the people he met along his journey through Latin America on his “Motorcycle Diaries” journey on his motorcycle with Alberto Granado. I admire his ability to leave his comfortable middle-class life and fight for a path that could help others, and not himself. I admire his ability to put others’ needs before his own, and the fact that he set out to accomplish his (huge) goals and was even willing to die for them.
I also think that most people who call Che a murderer and talk about the “evil deeds” he’s done have never seen the truly ugly face of capitalism, and the people it exploits- simply because they are tucked away in “ghettos” and “bad areas” stricken with poverty, insufficient medical care, and bad education. In my opinion, one cannot talk about victims of mass murder without taking into consideration this suffering and exploitation of the victims in capitalist societies.
With this blog, I’m trying to give Che’s voice back- it was taken over by the iconic image on the T-shirt, but the image is only an outline of who this man was. I want this blog to be about who he was as a person (as Ernesto Guevara, not just as the iconic Che), what he wanted to do and create, and what he stood for. I’m also interested in the way that others interpret him- that’s why I like to post a lot of Che art (street art, “fine art” and pop art).
Finally, I’d love it if you submit: I’d love to know what Che means to you, why you like him, your favorite images or quotes, etc.