It was Mach 5th of 1960, and the memorial service, given after the explosion of a Belgian transport in the Habana harbour, was just over. Fidel was finishing his speechwhen Alberto Korda, a young photographer awarded with “La Palma de Oro” for his work in fashion, snapped a shot at Che Guevara.
By then Korda was covering the event for a revolutionary journal called“Revolution”, but this picture wasn’t selected among the rest, so it became part of the personal collection of the photographer.
Seven years after, a stranger knocked at his door looking for picturesof Che, and the photographer gave him two copies as a gift.
The stranger happened to be Gianfranco Feltrinelli, an Italian publisher that went back to Italy and right after the death of “El ComandanteChe Guevara” printed one thousand posters of the copy Korda gave him. The poster sold more than 2 million copies in a year, and the fever was just starting. The Iconic image took form on every typeof paraphernalia: postcards, posters, mugs, T-shirts, even the Pop Art artist Andy Warhol created one of his art pieces using the image. And never since, the picture Alberto Diaz Gutierrez took inHavana, has stopped being printed in various formats, colours or countries, becoming the most extended and famous picture ever taken.
Who would had have told him this, would had have him hold the rightsfor the picture? We will never know that, but what we know is he didn’t. The only person who took any rights for the photograph was the publisher, and many, many years later the photographer himselfafter he won a legal battle against a Vodka company that used his picture with publicity purpose. This cashed him around fifty thousand dollars that he donated straight away to the Cuban medicalsystem. The only thing he said was; “If Che were still alive, he would have done the same”
And this is how the picture made it to our days and lost the original meaning of its purpose becoming another...