20 February 2008

Why Che is so popular on T-shirts?

Ever wonder why the man in the above image(Photo taken by Alberto Korda on March 5, 1960) is so popular on T-shirts?
Well in short Ernesto Guevara de la Serna (June 14, 1928 – October 9, 1967), commonly known as Che Guevara, El Che or just Che was an Argentine-born Marxist revolutionary, international political figure, author , military theorist , social philosopher, medical physician, and leader of Cuban and internationalist guerrillas.

As a young man studying medicine, Guevara travelled rough throughout South America (by motorcycle, boat, horse, and hitchhiking) , bringing him into direct contact with the impoverished conditions in which many people (particularly the indigenous peasantry and some lepers ) lived.

His experiences and observations during these trips(as shown in image of SA) led him to the conclusion that the region's socio-economic inequalities were a result of capitalism , colonialism , neo-colonialism , and imperialism and thus could only be remedied by socialism through revolution; prompting him to intensify his study of Marxism.

After his death, Guevara became an icon of socialist / marxist revolutionary movements and a cultural icon worldwide. He has since been venerated and reviled in dozens of biographies, memoirs, books, essays, documentaries, songs, and films.Che is romanticized (see: The Motorcycle Dairies film) as a noble idealist whose assassination made him a martyr and is seen as the last gasp of pure, benevolent socialist ideals.

An Alberto Korda photo of him has received wide distribution and modification, appearing on countless numbers of t-shirts , consumer products , protest banners, personal tattoos , and in many other formats. This fact lead Chilean novelist Ariel Dorfman to espouse that: “Deep inside that T-shirt where we have tried to trap him, the eyes of Che Guevara are still burning with impatience.”
Showing the image's ubiquitous nature and wide appeal, the Maryland Institute College of Art called this picture "the most famous photograph in the world and a symbol of the 20th century." Further displaying his influence, Time Magazine in 1999 named Ernesto "Che" Guevara one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century under the heading of "heroes and icons."

He’s popular because of the dreams he stood for and the energy he put into making the world a better place. The man grew up with access to much privilege, and came to see the wild disparities between the haves and have-nots throughout Latin America. And he tried to do something about it. He basically said “the world doesn’t have to be as bad as it is, and regular people can get together to do something about it”.

In its mid-November 2005 issue, the German newsweekly
Der Spiegel

writes about Europe's "peaceful revolutionaries"
whom it describes as the heirs of Gandhi and Guevara


Anonymous,  July 29, 2008 at 10:30 AM  

well i don´t want to justify him or anything but seriously, we the western people(americans) capitalists have with, i have to say, more sophisticated weapons(and i don´t mean just guns)killed and our governments will continue to kill...but what´s worst is that they do it giving us the idea that is for our own good, at least communist(well some) were more realistic or perhaps were diong it for their ideals and not for the hunger for more power or money

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