Che Guevara, the photographer

Che Guevara once claimed he was a photographer first and then a comandante. The exhibition «Ernesto Che Guevara the Photographer,» which opened recently at the Hellenic World Cultural Center, illuminates a hidden side of the popular revolutionary icon. Che Guevara’s daughter Aleida Guevara came to Greece for the exhibition and attended a press conference with Cuban Ambassador Hermes Herrera Hernandez. She shared the few memories she has of her father, who was killed in Bolivia when she was very young, and what she has learned from his life. A pediatrician and allergist who works at a hospital in Havana, Aleida said her brother Camilo would be better at answering most questions about her father’s work, since he looks after Che’s archives. Delayed by a car accident, Camilo will come to Greece later. The exhibition testifies to Che’s love for photography, his main occupation in Mexico. Che managed to include in his images «all the cultural elements we could lose at any moment if world peace is not maintained,» Aleida said. «Through this exhibition people will see the real Che Guevara.» Though the concept of revolutionaries has changed, the photographs will still resonate with people today, she says. «They will see how much hard work is required if anyone wants to change the so-called Third World,» she says. «It is up to the public to establish a connection between the photographs and current affairs.» The exhibition is organized by the Che Guevara Studies Center, which is run by his widow Aleida and housed in the Havana house he shared with his family. The 238 photographs have already gone on display in Spain, Italy, Denmark and Latin America. The exhibit will remain in Athens until July 2 and will then travel to Thessaloniki, Iraklion, Patras and Ioannina. The photographs were taken between 1951 and 1963 in Argentina, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba and other countries. The exhibition also features a photocopy of Che’s identity card and two of his cameras.