The student blog for Drake University first year seminar entitled Visual Politics

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The iconic image of Che Guevara stands out as a metonymy for two separate things: one that makes sense and the other somewhat of a stretch. The first thing he stands for is socialistic revolution. His exploits in the Cuban Revolution inspired many socialist and communist revolutionaries throughout the world. He still stands as a beacon to many socialists and communists, in Latin America or otherwise. This standing was amplified by his execution at the hands of the CIA while attempting to start another communist revolution in Africa. He is not only an example for far left-wing revolutionaries, many others, such as Nelson Mandela, have called Che an inspiration for freedom, not just socialistic revolution. But he has also been called a brutal guerilla fighter who used violence against those who disagreed with him. He is most famously known by the image above. The image above is the most famous of a person’s face becoming an icon, in my opinion. That famous picture is still used today. 
Many times it is used by the other group who uses him. His face is often used as an icon for counterculture. This is of interest to me, as I find it interesting how the image of a man most famous for formulating violent revolutions that used brutal methods to force change ends up as an icon for a counterculture in one of the nations he thought to be one of the main problems with the world. His remains one of the most famous images in the world and is a great example of one man (specifically a single image of his face) becoming an icon for a world-wide movement. – Lucas Oshman

1 comment:

  1. You leave the reader hanging. Why do you think he's become an icon?

    - Ralph