i am sure there is no doubt among any of us that the most published/ reproduced photographic image of all time is Cuban photographer Alberto Korda’s photograph of macho firebrand Che Guevara…this symbol of revolution and rebellion, is on t-shirts, baseball caps, souvenir flags, is a tatoo parlor favorite, and now the label of an Argentinian winery … i have a feeling this iconic image is most often displayed by those who actually have no idea of the revolutionary idealogy of Argentinian physician Che..but, so be it…an icon nevertheless….

this modern day “revolution cliche” also hangs (or rather hung) on my living room wall….mine is an original, signed, full-frame fiber print given to me by Korda himself after we had both consumed i do not know how many Havana Club mohitos…we went long into the night after the opening of my “Cuba” exhibition in Havana in 2000..Alberto died just a few months after our Havana “all-nighter” , in Paris during the opening of his own retro exhibit…

Alberto Korda was a motivated photographer…..”my main aim was to meet women”, Korda confessed in a New York Times interview towards the end of his life…and his second wife (but not his last) was a top fashion model……hmmmmmm… well, motivations aside, Korda is represented by prestige galleries throughout the world and was Fidel Castro’s personal photographer for 10 years after the revolution…you may see an interesting film by Hector Cruz Sandoval titled “Kordavision” which was released after Alberto’s death..this film and the above photograph are not so popular in Miami where many of the “non- recipients” of the Che/Fidel revolution have lived for the last 40 years…

despite the obvious international recognition of this almost always cropped photograph, Korda received no royalties…in a $50,000 lawsuit settlement against Smirnoff vodka for using this image in an advertising campaign, Korda gave the money to the Cuban Health Care system, saying “Che would have done the same”….and besides, Korda did not have copyright on the photograph anyway…the Revolution “owned” the picture….and everything else too…

Korda once said with regard to the exploitation of this image, “I am categorically against the exploitation of Che’s image, particularly for the promotion of alcohol”….all of the photographers in Castro’s revolution were “idealists” in their zeal…Salas, Corrales, and the more famous Korda…they did, however, “give” their art and their heart to the Revolution….the outcome of “dedication”, as we all know, can never be known…

so, to all of you i ask…would you sacrifice your “art” and your talent for what you considered to be a “worthy cause” ?


Photographs above by Robert Clark (my good neighbor who has given me a bed)


101 Responses to “Che”

  • What? No question?


  • Yes, on cuba che is everywhere. Ones time i saw a man with very very small swim panty with imeges of che who spread yourselves on his huge balls.
    but che was not innocent…

  • David

    Robert Clark made you nice portrait.

  • HERVE…

    sorry companero, i forgot the question..coming now!!

    cheers, david


    on what??

    cheers, david

  • David,

    I guess it depends on what exactly you mean by “sacrifice.” Sacrifice as in never be able to use my photography again? Or just “selling out.”

    Depends on what worthy cause. Curing alzheimers? Reversing the effects of global climate destabilization? Or just trying to get some random politician elected? There’s a wide range there on both the sacrifice side and the worthy cause side for me.

  • my photography is simply an extension of my being alive…and so is only a gesture….

    “worthy cause”: a resounding yes: my family…for example….they come above all else, and recently have made decisions that affect directly my own work (the projection project) because my wife and son are more important…

    politics: no…per se ….

    i would, however, surrender $$ for work, easily, for a cause or belief or person i believe in…i am totally willing to give away what little money i’ve made from the sales of prints (and i have), for things and people who mean more to me than photography…

    fortunately che’s life and his sad death meant more than all the stupid tshirts and wine bottles and books and all the rest….

    just goes to show…

    we dont own squat…not even our selves …

    and that’s a good enough perspective to remember ;)))


  • It’s pretty ridiculous to think that the ‘Commandante’ has grown into the social role of ‘fashion icon’. Many people don’t even know about the person on their t-shirt or baseball caps. During my travels in South America I experienced that Che is still very much alive. Because of his early death by execution he did not only become the icon of the communistic revolution but also a symbol for the fight against injustice. He is still embraced by many in South America. I remember my encounter with his iconic image in Havana at the Plaza de la Revolucion. I’ll look into getting Kordavision…thanks for posting;-)

  • David

    how do you judge what Che did? As a brave heroism or as just killing people? Do you think great leader can be absolution?
    Revolution higher than life?
    New reallity higher than ordinary single human?
    che is hero or…?
    you think great history and a legend need victims?
    anything needs victims?

  • I always wondered where the copyright flew off to with that picture. It’s been reincarnated in all the most inappropriate forms, from baby clothes to planet of the apes paraphernalia to diamond crusted designer clothes. What fascinated me is how many people I saw in Cuba tattooed with the image. Would that particular image mean so much in Cuba if it hadn’t been misused elsewhere?

    Sacrificio…if it’s a worthy cause, absolutely. There’s nothing more I could ask than to create some kind of order in the chaos of our existence.

    That said, sacrifice is a hard word to toss around theoretically…give up ownership/copyright for a given cause? That’s a tough one because it ends up relating to $$…and giving that up almost ensures it will not be used how you intended, changing with the values of the time.

  • BOB…

    it has been clear to all of us in the last year , that you DO put family above all else…you mention them in almost every piece…like you, i also put family first, even though i have not been “perfect” in this regard….

    i do also totally believe in donating photographs to various charity auctions etc for the good of others….i do this all the time, as i am sure you do too…

    whether or not i would lay down my whole life’s work for a political revolution as Korda did is another story….i have never been faced with such a decision, so i honestly have no idea what i would do….

    yes, in the larger philosophical scheme of things, we “own” nothing….however, in the “real present” i do think photographers should protect their “art”….if not for their own good, for the benefit of their families , we both so cherish, who will inherit the “legacy”….

    cheers, david

  • David, what is the real picture, cropped or not cropped. Isn’t that one of the greatest statements that it’s known as a photography, the most famous photography of all times maybe, and it’s not the one the photographer (whom no one, except afficionados, gives a hoot about) took. What matters here? the reproduced photo, or the one the photographer took? (David, I hope you answer this one)

    Do photos matter or only their use of it? There is such public/market appropriation that does not happen so ubiquitously in other crafts/arts (I think, at least), which, as in this very case, changes the crafted object or work of art.

  • If you mean photograph for free if I believed in the cause, David – yes.

    Susan Meiselas took a photograph of a man throwing a petrol bomb in Nicaragua that also became an iconic and much-copied (even on a box of matches) image.

    Then there’s a couple of Capa photographs (death of a Spanish soldier and D-Day landings. Funny how a photograph that is not necessarily the best that a photographer has ever taken becomes iconic.



  • HERVE….

    great question….trouble is i am running…and i really do not have the answer anyway…do you know Richard Prince?? now there is who we should talk about….what happened to Korda’s picture is a version of what Richard Prince does…or not????

    of course, i personally only value Korda’s full frame photograph…and, by the way, this is the only one with real value to gallerists, museums, etc etc…

    cheers, david


    hmmmm…you know well that these are rhetorical questions that certainly i am not qualified to answer….and the “rightness” of any revolution is subjective and historically has involved many deaths…i mean ALL REVOLUTIONS!!!! revolutionary leaders must certainly BELIEVE that only the “bad people” are dying….

    just for the record, it should be noted that the Cuban Revolution against Batista was promoted in the press as a relatively “bloodless revolution”….BUT, i am sure there are many Cubans who would disagree with this…also there are many Cuban exhiles in Florida who originally supported Castro, but then became disillusioned and felt betrayed….

    clearly, i am not a judge ….

    cheers and peace, david

  • DAVID :))

    totally, 100%, agree :))…my most “political” belief lay in the dedication and Sovereignty of the commitment i make to those around (my family, my close friends, those i care about)…and, believe me, I aint perfect either, really ;))))…when u finally get to meet Marina, she’ll be able to confirm, though i try, i aint the prince i hope to be ;))))))))…

    and yes, that’s the only real “value” i place on the photography and the writing: its the only thing, really, i have to give/leave for my son, in the weight of my “archive” my “endowment” my “legacy” :))))…i’ll have so little in the way of material things to leave him, but I hope tha someday, there is some worth there that will make his life and the lives of those around him a little easier….

    i should tell u that that’s how i first heard the name “DAH”…for i have lots of friends from cuba as i lived in southern florida for (together) years, and often miss Miami and all those stories alot…both the good and bad…and i was obsessed with Cuba, mostly through the stories my friends and their families told, both the ones who’d left cuba and the ones who’d stay….

    by the way, i wanted to give you “paradiso” when we met, but since that might now not be until May, can i recommend, if you havent read it already, the book:

    Jose Lezama Lima’ PARADISO:'s+paradiso&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=ehHjeBdC51&sig=fh08dADlD-OfVRY67nbCu2D8s8s#PPA24,M1



  • p.s.

    Michael mentioned Susan’s photograph of the revolutionary tossing the Molotov cocktail which later was “appropriated” for the revolution (and painted on walls everywhere) during the 1st Nicaraguan war….

    She talks about this photo and that phenomenon in very interesting and thoughtful ways in her film:

    “Pictures From a Revolution”…

    i watched it 2 weeks ago…highly recommend! :))


  • i wont tell y’all what she said/thought…as incentive to rent the DVD :)))))


  • David

    rhetorical?…. I wish to belive that this question will not rhetorical in future. In XIX century every generals was a hero because they had always right (in their mind). Now it’s time when people can judge leaders goverments ect.
    and i hope will more.
    I think every revolution leader should do what he must but it should be judged only one way.
    I’m asking because many young “rebels witout reason” around the world wearing t-shirt with Che. That’s ok, but they should know that this is colorful t-shirt someone death.
    or maybe we should forget about past and everything change on mickey mouse?
    i don’t know…
    I’m just wondering…
    I’m definitively wrong.
    life is life.
    smile is smile.


  • I’d rather share than “sacrifice” for causes I believe in.

    I met a photographer in New Orleans last weekend working to do a version of this. His name is Devin Meyers and he has started an organization called Fotos For Humanity ( His goal is a non-profit photography organization that 1) offers volunteer photography services to any local non-profit, cultural, or community groups who may not otherwise be able to afford professional photography…. 2) share copyright use of the pictures with the groups, and 3) try to use the pictures (sales, promotion, etc.) to support the cultural groups you see inside the pictures.

    During Mardi Gras Devin had unprecedented access to the black feather tribe, actually spending the night with them while they prepared for ‘battle”. Devin has given copies of the images to the tribe and he will use proceeds from photo-sales to subsidize the feathers, beads, and stones they will use on their suits for next year… One unique perspective on sacrifice/ sharing in photography.

  • David; Yes i would give up the personal “art” to work for a cause I believe in, and in some ways are attempting to do just that.

    Even though I have only just gone fulltime, the local mags I work with are in some ways stepping stones to enable me to pursue personal projects. These projects mostly focus on causes I believe in.

    I found that as I’ve got older I’ve become more interested in different causes. I’d also like to think that whatever small amount of talent I have, may in some way benefit someone else.

    I’m in a different space to Bob though, as without having any kids etc. I feel that I want to put my energies into helping out someone else. I suppose to be honest, ego must be a part of that too.

    But your art comes into it to, as you want to do your best to do good work that reflects your ideals.

    When you mention photographing for a cause, the doco “Vietnam’s Unseen War” springs to mind. Those North Vietnamese photographers put themselves through hell to record their particular vision of the war.

    As far as I am concerned, I know I’ll never make a fortune pursuing personal humanitarian projects, but it will satisfy the soul. As long as I can keep a roof over my head then that’s about all I need!

    I don’t want to look back in twenty years and say “I wish I’d done that”. And as for money; the old saying “There are no pockets in your funeral shroud” rings true too…

    Cheers every one.

  • KELLY….

    now that is one good idea…we should all think of more like it…


    good man…selfless…


    i must say that at Magnum, and we are a business with rent and staff to pay, i do feel very proud that we gave our profits (over 1.5 million dollars) to the victims of the 9/11 tragedy from the sales of our collective book on the subject…

    cheers, david

  • I’m always amazed how people like James Nachtwey, Don McCullin etc have been able to keep going at their work without becoming disenchanted.

    It must be so hard not to feel as though you are beating your head against a brick wall as the death/killing seems to continue…

  • BOB…

    i just pulled that picture “outside”…thanks for the reminder….

    cheers, david

  • david :)))))

    cool, happy to help ;)))…i gotta like weird enclopedic reminder for 2 things:

    1) photographs

    2) books

    3) useless trivia ;))))



  • that’s encyclopedic, not enclopedi ;))…gotta get off the compter tube before my eyes fry ;))



  • David

    9/11 it was the same revolution as every revolutions and war before. Someone have ideals, purpose, reasons someone is victim of this ideals.
    I’m naive probably…
    death is death
    smile is smile.

    good night and good luck…

  • Would I give a photo to a cause I believed in? Sure, why not? Am I happy that Che’s image is being used by the imperialist running capitalist dogs as a trademark to sell everything under the sun? You bet; it couldn’t have happened to a nicer murderous totalitarian thug. He did photograph well, I’ll give the man that; between Korda’s iconic image and Rene Burri’s pic of him with the cigar stuffed in his face the man knew how to look good for the camera, no two ways about it.

  • Ross, read Don McCullin’s book Unreasonable Behaviour. At first he photographed to become “famous” or at least to “prove himself”. Later he paid the price. I admire and respect him.



  • Hi Michael; I have two copies of Unreasonable Behaviour! One hardback that never leaves home, the other a paperback I throw in the pack etc to read when I’m away..

    I admire and respect him too! It never fails to amaze me what situations he put himself into to highlight a particular injustice etc.

    The chapter where he describes being held in one of Idi Amin’s jails sends shivers up my spine.

    By the way; I just purchased his latest book “In England”, it’s a stunner..


  • Well, I should say YES, as that is what I’m exactly doing right now. A big effort, so much work, sleepless nights and a lot of energy just for a “good cause” involved with this continent that stole my heart: Africa.

    I do think that the most important thing in our lifes is to feel good inside. Doing it makes me feel good and alive, so I will keep on doing it, even if I’m poor. In a different way, it makes me rich.



    Can you explain what you mean by “Korda laid down his whole life’s work for a political revolution”? On what sense did he do this? I’m not clear..

    I’ve always felt that if an act is selfless, there is no sacrifice, that they are diametrical opposites by nature.

    You missed a wing ding last night chez Preston..I’m still not awake.

  • As someone who grew up in a communist country, let me say I hate Che and what he tried to do. And I hate Castro. David has been to Cuba many times, so I hope this doesnt offend him:) Che was a good socialist. He killed people in the name of his ideology, which fits quite well into the general M.O. of socialist revolutionaries..starting with Lenin. Give Chavez a little time and a few more failed referendi and you will see him follow Lenin’s, Stalin’s, Che’s, Mao’s, Castro’s example. No way is Chavez going out quietly or voluntarily.

    Speaking about the issue raised by David though, I think there had to be passion to make photography good. It doesnt matter that the passion is for something evil or something good, passion has to be there. Its more important than the superficialities of print qualities and compositions, etc bla bla bla.

  • One of my nightime Cardiff shots ended up as an album cover… full profits of the album went to Cancer Research UK, so I guess that, well, even the most unexpected can happen in this sense…

    Yes, of course, you have to be true to yourself if you want to keep friends and free beers flowing.

  • To me, art and talent seems cyclic and renewable… using them for any worthy cause wouldn’t diminish either one… But sacrificing art for ideology redefines it, transforming art into propaganda, or advertising… Good propaganda can be good art, but they are not the same thing, the critical apparatus has been, sometimes subtly, switched. Another facet of context.

    I think the Che portrait is so popular because it is the best advertising photo ever. It sells revolution (in the general sense) better than a picture of Colonel Sanders sells chicken.

  • here in the philippines his image is also everywhere, from shirts to bags to jeepneys (i.e. public utility vehicles). and very few people actually know who he is (was). in fact, a friend of mine, pointing at che’s face, once asked a group of kids if they knew who he was. and they answered confidently: a rock star

  • ERICA…

    in the sense that Korda allowed the Revolution (the government) to “own” his lifetime of creative work..this is a concept i cannot identify with….i want revolution now in my country, but i would not give away copyright of my photographs for it!!! BUT , i would donate prints for a cause that would support it…two different things…..but, i do think Korda did this in his own mind without “sacrifice”….he was not a prisoner of the revolution, he was part of it, helped to create it, and loved it….

    cheers, david

  • It used to be very uncool to go after Che, but now thanks to 89 (19.., not 17), our friend here and elsewhere who have LIVED, with their families, what the reality was behind the ideology, can attest that it was not to realize the individual, but to crush it. Che was but a link that led to such infathomable murderers as Pol Pot and Kim Jung II.

    Che couldn’t sell his brand of revolution (most of all, not even to Castro the realist) to change the world, and instead has become almost a brand name, with nary a wearer of it knowing squat about who he was, except of course, a…Che-x symbol! :-)


    i must respect your feelings and i do…you lived it…i did not…

    for three years i listened to both sides of the “Cuba story”…..both sides equally impassioned, and both sides RIGHT….

    the “revolutionaries” citing their desire to rid Cuba of Batista/Mafia organized gambling, prostitution etc. at the expense of the “underclass” and citing their ability to give even the rural class electricity, medical care and a first class education and, for example, support the best ballet dancers and athletes in the world…of course, the Miami exhiles side is that not all Cubans were into organized crime and that 90% of the families who lost their homes and their land and forced to move off the island were just hard working professionals who had built up property and wealth the old fashioned way..they earned it.

    in the end, i do not know who is RIGHT…i was not involved…it was not my revolution, not my land and culture, nor did my family give up any property etc etc…so, i have no stake ..therefore no voice…my opinion does not count and i do not give my opinion..i have no RIGHT..

    all i know is that i love the Cuban people..their energy, spirit, creativity and generousity are second to none..THAT is all i ever wanted to show or to communicate…

    i set up this post however, not to get into political issues, but simply to address “ownership” and “copyright” for artists…if we go into politics, we will never get out of here!!!

    cheers, david

  • Michael Kirchner said:
    “I guess it depends on what exactly you mean by “sacrifice.” Sacrifice as in never be able to use my photography again? Or just “selling out.”
    Depends on what worthy cause. Curing alzheimers? Reversing the effects of global climate destabilization? Or just trying to get some random politician elected? There’s a wide range there on both the sacrifice side and the worthy cause side for me.”

    I agree. It depends on the sacrifice.

    “i must say that at Magnum, and we are a business with rent and staff to pay, i do feel very proud that we gave our profits (over 1.5 million dollars) to the victims of the 9/11 tragedy from the sales of our collective book on the subject…”

    I think that this is a great way of contributing, because at the same time it is not like giving your work away. You are still in control over what happenes to your pictures.

    I almost did a huge mistake in this respect with my Kenya-pictures. I do not really want to go too much into detail here in this open blog, because it is still something that is kind of pending in a way, but I cancelled my Cuba-trip and instead went to Kenya with the idea of making pictures for a ngo and to give them away, so other people could use them as they thought would be best for the organisation in question.

    The point is, and I fortunately found out extremely fast, that they are not aware of what this “present” means and thus are unable to respect the responsabilities that come with it, too. I very quickly changed my plans – also to stay safe myself – and was careful not to give them any data at all. Instead of that I did editions, which were shown, sold etc. and donated the money.

    Do not get me wrong: I am still marvelled at the project and what they are managing with so little, otherwise I would not have helped after what I experienced. I KNOW the wrong handling from their side came out of ignorance. But even after explaining over and over, I did not see any improvement in the way they dealt with the matter, so I withdrew my original offer and replaced it with another, that could not do me or anyone else involved any harm.

    And I would never do it differently again!

    Even though, of course, I am no famous fotografer and do not manage to gather much money through my sells… So it is. Nevertheless I am happy to help on this way and these marvellous kenyan people I got to know, just need so much, to be able to help themselves, that even my little aid is highly appreciated. By the way, it goes directly into health and education.

    They are having a rough time there at the moment. I have not been able to reach them lately. But yesterday, as David was posting this, I was just preparing another set of postcard-editions so I could finally start to sell over my website. They are selling too in the gallery that is hosting my present show.

    I will go on with these little things. Without giving any rights away. And I cannot even say that it is not egoistic, because it just makes me feel so much better! …

  • Ah, I see, I didn’t realize they owned/managed the images. So in that regard, would I be willing to give everything over..I guess it would come down to feeling a kinship. I totally understand giving archives to a library or such on death because of a belief that they are entrusted to someone (in the larger sense) who will respect the work. But during life? I suppose so if that same kinship was there along with a belief that it was relevant to do so, and finances allowed..

  • Dear David

    I find it very difficult to answer your question, I won’t even try.

    But I would like to put the subject of Korda and he’s Che image into another perspective. Korda and the Cuban adminstation didn’t spread the image of Che all over the world as a revolutionary icon.

    Somebody else took care of that and most likely made a lot of money.

    I visited Korda in Havana in 1993, to ask him what happened with the image.
    You can read my short account here:

    I hope, I am not spoiling things here.


  • Thanks for this fragment of information, Michael, it was really interesting to read!
    By the way (just a little addition to make search easye, as I am sure you’ll try to look up the countries as I just did)
    The Berne Convention seems to be in force in Cuba since 1997 …

  • Lassal, you are right. Cuba has signed the convention by now.

    But back in 1967, Cuba was violating the rights of intellectual property, by copying anything they needed, like textbooks in order to educate the Cuban population.

    So in that sence, all cubans saccrified their rights, to violate the rights of others.

    I don’t blame anybody here. Cuba has been in a very difficult and delicate situation since the revolution.

  • MICHAEL said
    “So in that sence, all cubans saccrified their rights, to violate the rights of others.”

    That is a great statement, I think. Could I quote you on my website sometime in the future? I have a post coming up, where this could fit extremely well.

    Apart from that … I really like the uncropped version of that picture so much more than the cropped one …

  • Hey ho, Lassal…this is intellectual property. No…just kidding. You can qoute me free of charge. And trust me, I made it my self, just now!

  • LASSAL, I agree that the uncropped photo is more interesting … Way more “INCOMPLETE” than the “tatoo-baseball cup COMPLETE claustophobic version…

  • if we go into politics, we will never get out of here!!!
    True and I kept off it when I saw your entry. But others encouraged me, I think it’s important that when it’s related to human suffering, there is no need to go into specifics, politically, but show over and over again “we must not forget”. besides, Cuba’s “successes” have little to do with someone who died in 1967, and was never in charge of the domains you mention.

    I will go to Cuba at some point, you and others have surely sold me on about the cuban people. I love them already!

    On copyrights, I would like to ask you what is the faustian deal that allowed Natl Geo to keep all rights to a photographer’s lifework, like the ones you mentionned once and are now forgotten? Gee, I sent one of my best and most popular shots to them, entering a contest, but learnt later I may have ceded all rights with that thoughtless act. Tell me it’s a joke!!!!

    In general, I think photography is the art/craft where the product belongs the least, one way or another, to its creator, and the memory is usually for the picture, not the guy who took it.

    I forgot but thanks Google, I now remember about Richard Prince. I see. Not crazy about art where the concept behind overrides the craft itself, even is the reason (and not the impulse) for it. When both are contending for you attention, it’s unforgettable and age-defining (Warhol).

  • Yeah Panos, way more poetic … way more inspiring … way more alive. Some of these “incomplete” pictures really do breathe for me. I feel the movement, I actually see a film when I look at them.

  • And the Che picture looses a lot of depth and singularity when you take the complexity of the composition away. At least that is my oppinion.

  • Just a funny note; Korda managed to make two shots of Che, before he went off stage: one horisontal and then one vertical. The second shot leaving out the gentleman at the left and the palmleaf at the right. Perhaps, to make the image more “complete”!

  • I like to do pro bono work for charities. I don’t claim to be a great talent but I’m working at it and I think my work sometimes results in an interesting and useful image for these organizations.

    Also, I’m one of the shy types and it helps to be on the job because I have the confidence that I am there for a task and invited. I get an insiders view. I can think more clearly about how to tell the story. I don’t have to feel like I’m stealing a photo and I can assert myself for a necessary photos.

    In other words, giving of my talents and interests helps me to practice and refine my eye and craft. It also helps a cause that I feel is worthy. For, even though there are so so many photos in the world now, it’s still very hard to find useful ones.

    Maybe I will dive in and commit to making this more than a hobby one day. At least these dry-runs help me decide.

    A professional photographer I work with also regularly does this with only the insistence that the photo be credited to him when it is used. I think this is important too.


  • Does anybody have an oppinion to or experiences with the Creative Commons (CC)?


  • hi david and all,

    on the revolutionary politics thing (sorry i can’t help myself, for i have tried to start a few)…….if a political revolution, (there are many types) is successful, i.e. it overthrows an existing system or institution, then that revolutionary body inevitably becomes the next institution. this will of course feature the usual corruption, violence – physical and symbolic or a combination of the two, exploitation etc., etc., that existed under the previous system. and that, for the most part takes us, rather neatly back to square one. why? because people are people are people.

    for any revolutionary the only option is permanent revolution. but then who controls or runs the revolution? isn’t there always someone at the top, someone with the power? and we all know what they say about power don’t we.

    personally i think the problem is with the people who want power. they should be banned from ever having it. as soon as a person run for election they should be disqualified form holding office immediately. there now, i feel better, slightly.

    on the copyright/ownership thing, well i agree with david et al. support the cause, if its a truly worthy one, with donations of prints and time, yes by all means. but ownership NEVER. didn’t robert capa lead the ownership of copy right revolution!


  • “would you sacrifice your “art” and your talent for what you considered to be a “worthy cause” ?”

    Probably… I hope to one day be in a situation where my art and talent can be of benefit for a worthy cause.


    is anybody out there! where is everyone!


  • I think most of “everyone” are still asleep ;)
    Hi there, Jason, where are you writing from?


  • hi lassal,

    it feels very strange to see everything stop. things have been a bit heated in here lately. i’m posting from a very sunny london. you?


  • Yeah, I know what you mean. Sometimes you cannot read fast enough as the posts pop up and then there is this infinite silence ;) As if everyone was taking a deeeeep breath for the next avalanche ;))))

    London? I am sitting in Frankfurt.

    By the way, do you happen to know a good orthopaedic in London? An friend of mine is there right now and it seems he is in terrible pain. Something with his back. But he does not dare to go to a doctor he does not know – for reasons just he knows. Guess he has heard some nasty stories. He is english by the way ;))

    If you or anyone knows a good doctor as to back-Issues, PLEASE let me know is my eMail-address …

    Other than that: super sunny here too. Everyone outside (but me, who is working) and … is it spring already???



    are you sure about that??? i am not so sure, really not so sure….i have always thought that the “iconic” image we see on t-shirts etc. was just a cropped version of the horizontal full-frame photograph…very very hard to imagine that Korda managed to shoot a vertical that is identical in expression and head postion….why do you think this?? what do you know???


    several of you have mentioned this discussion stopped…yes, it stopped the minute i made a new post above…this is what i was always worried about with the one blog concept..that new posts would bury the discussion…people do not seem to like commenting on a story not on the top..OR, maybe readers just need to get used to it…we will see…

    cheers, david

  • Good morning, David.

    good to see you “down here” … in this forgotten post.

    A lot of themes chewed half way… hope everyone finds it’s way back here so we can continue.



    I think you got my message wrong. The well known image of Che is a cropped version of the first frame. I just imagined me being in Korda’s shoes, trying to figure out, why he would turn his Leica and make a vertical second shot, if it wasn’t that he felt like “cleaning up” the image…making it more “complete”. This is just pure speculation, of course.

  • David

    ” it stopped the minute i made a new post above…”

    I think it is because we started on sunday, everybody had free time, and then everybody rush in life.
    and I Think your present keep disscusion going always.
    hmmmm people like talking with you first I suppose.
    and Panos keep many amount comments… with himself mostly :)

    peace… for cuba

  • Ooh, that’s a cool photo!

  • Marcin, thank you for the above comment…
    it seems you are one of the “few” that grasps
    the “GONZO” theory…
    Don’t feel depressed if you live in a small blue village…
    my grandma had the same bitterness… Because she could only understand of what people had to say…
    not of a language barrier but because of a cultural one..

    she is dead now…
    died from bitterness and depression…
    please don’t be like her…
    but if you are bored to hell or feel like your life is a constant
    dead end… Remember
    GONZO… Talk to yourself, photograph yourself especially if you find it hard to do street photography…
    but please, please don’t let JEALOUSY take the best out of you…
    but I should stop here coz you don’t pay me enough to be shrink!!!
    please don’t kill yourself…
    how about travelling outside that blue doomed village..
    That could help…

  • Marcin, also
    don’t forget how many people DIED in Europe through the second world war.. Trying to defend their countries from the Nazis..
    I am proud of my Greeks and American brothers that Died, gave their life for that cause…
    but there were several euro- trash countries that let the Nazis go through without a fight… I’m not gonna mention any names from those numerous cowardish countries that gave up when they saw the first Nazi boot…
    fuck the euro cowards.
    thanks again to the Russians, the Americans the Greeks…
    and a few more…
    Marcin… There is nothing wrong dying for a cause…
    but like I said above , if you thinking of Death try not to kill yourself…
    die for a cause…
    Stop being so Sensitive young man…
    Death is part of life…
    when you accept this your life will so much brighter…

    Read a book about the Greek revolution against the Turks …
    its ok to die or sacrifice for stuff like that …
    its ok , my man, its ok!

  • Panos…”thanks to the Greeks?” Really? They did have a resistence movement, true. But so did other countries…like Poland. And some countries resistence was more effective than others….not mentioning any names!

  • Michael, if it wasn’t for that little greek “delay” right before that “heavy Russian winter.. If Mussolini could finish his job and occupy Greece on time, then Hitler would have attacked Russia in the summer.. If Greece wasn’t in the fucking way… On lord!!
    you would be probably speaking german by now’
    but I dont think you would any problem with that… Anyways
    actually that could be forced to use a real camera like. LEICA
    instead of your canon rebel…
    nothing wrong with that…
    by the way… What’s your obssesion with Poland?
    I didnt know you are polish, not that I care!
    when did I say anything wrong (or right) about Poland ?
    I dont worry about you being polish Michael K, I worry about you being an IGNORANT, my friend…

  • yes Mihael. Thanks tovthe Greeks …Really…
    I wish you will tell me that right in my face when we meet…
    or next to my granpa’s grave…
    you have no respect for the dead…
    now I see why you are so scared!

  • I didn’t say you said anything wrong (or right) about poland. I said other countries. Just happen to mention Poland…right? ;^}

    And I promise to tell you whatever you would like…right to your face.

    What’s with your obsession with Greece? Sound a little ethnocentric at times. Not to mention Xenophobic. I’m sure you don’t need to look those words up…right? ;^}

    Kalispera, mon frere!

  • its funny Michael K.,
    but I think it would be fun for you and me to meet.
    its obvious you know how to push all the right buttons…
    and then when in ready to explode, you say something cool that makes me smile or laugh…
    you definitely keep me stimulated…
    Thanks, for real…
    and by the way you are right on thing ( at least)…
    yes HIP HOP is dead…

  • Panos

    my english skills are still worst that two years old child’s skills, so probably i wrote something strange and then you decided to write to me comment like above (first one). I don’t know why, but ok. Many things escaps me in understending.
    I am not having control of it.
    So you had reason definitely.
    for me you can wrote what you want, about anyone.
    It is satify you?
    can we go further?

  • Panos

    Your second comment is answer for my comment higher above i suppose…

    “Stop being so Sensitive young man…
    Death is part of life…
    when you accept this your life will so much brighter…”

    so, Panos… why don’t you go and kill yourself if you think that death is ok?
    everybody said “death is part of life!” and they think someone other’s death not my…
    or they sitting in warm bed and they think that revolution or war is ok. This is brave to die for country or ideals.
    Are you thinking that?
    death by bullet is dirty and witout dignity.
    I’m not saying that people who die for freedom country are not heros. They are!
    but if you think that in Poland, Greece or cuba die only because was one bad man and millions of heros you are stupid.
    che and Castro give for muba many very very good things. People are free, equal, educated etc.
    but killing is killing
    and die is die
    even if you trick me as a stupid boy
    and about cuba… I grow up on cuba… cuba is reflection of poland before 89. and I’m socjalist.
    But killing is still killing
    and death is still death

  • Panos

    I always read yours comments with curiosity, even if you making so noise and you offended everyone but this sentence is child thought

    “but there were several euro- trash countries that let the Nazis go through without a fight… I’m not gonna mention any names from those numerous cowardish countries that gave up when they saw the first Nazi boot…
    fuck the euro cowards.”

    no most of your comment is child thought. But enought, if i say one thing you will write one hundred.

  • Marcin, marcin..
    Long time ago , i said i admire your work… to begin with…

    You see , as an immigrant in California… when i see “ALEX WEBB’S ”
    photo, arresting an immigrant (LIKE ME)…
    and i can see very well that he is “embedded” with the “white” police..
    (o.k. we all know that police has no color)…
    then i get mad… because of my “issues”… because of my problems…
    and then… i start yelling… i scream… i cry…
    i have a problem you know… since i was a kid , i was always identifying myself with the “bad”, the ones being “chased”…
    If i see a movie, lets say , between COWBOYS and INDIANS…
    i was always with the “INDIANS”… if i see a movie or a CNN reportage, between the “blacks” and the ” whites”… i was always with the “darker complexion, no matter how dark”…
    as a kid i always wanted to be ZORO… not a superman or batman..
    just Zoro… although i grew up with BOLEK & LOLEK , you know…
    I didnt only grew up with “Mickey” only…

    And yes Marcin,
    there were euro trash countries that didnt really resist….
    And Poland IS NOT one of them… if that makes any difference at all, to my comment…
    There are still a lot of cowards out there… thats my fucking point…
    You see i observe a “desperation” in you…. not fear of death…
    There is a great Polish community in Athens.. and i totally respect how “relaxed-super hard working- non violent- law abiding- role model- citizens- polish people are…

    As i said before, my girlfriend is from Prague, Czech Republic….
    actually born in Carlovy Vary.. but anyways…
    She has all these stories to tell me, she has the socialist upbringing… she is trying to convince me to move back to Prague… in the next year…
    Although i think i would love to start travelling again…
    Although i love my new horse…
    People i want to announce how happy i got my second horse,
    plus i ordered my second Leica… 20 minutes ago…

    Marcin…. remember
    Killing is not always death… sometimes is just the BEGINNING….
    “There is nothing more exhilarating than getting rid of an old, stalled, infected relationship…
    How nice is to be free again….(but, honestly… this doesnt apply to me at this moment.. just dreaming…

    Hey Marcin, i aint mad at you, and i have love for you.. as 2pac said.
    peace and love from L.A.

  • Marcin and ALL…
    please watch this, below:

    I aint mad at you..

    I love all my nephews… says UNCLE Panos…
    Peace player- haters…

  • 11:00 pm… in L.A…
    time for anotha joint… damm it…

    what you CHOOSE???… the “sweetest joint”???? … or “pussy”???
    or mabe “…the sweetest joint, next to getting pussy….

    …then 2PAC, was the ONE…
    peace… but DAVID, i’m so astonished you personally know LOU REED… DAH…. you’re the “shit”… no kidding bro….


  • Panos

    You always suprising me.
    but I must missing the point more than I was thought. mea culpa
    “Killing is not always death… sometimes is just the BEGINNING….”
    No Panos, killing is just killing. If you die nothing will beginning for you.
    hmmmmmm… maybe you thinking about clouds and heaven… hmmmm death is still death.
    and i have love for you too… you know that

    ps. Bolek and lolek was not my favorite movie, and now many people thinking that they are gays. Bad movie for bad boys?

  • PANOS…

    you NAILED me with the Tupac video….i had never seen it….so so predictive…..hmmmmmm


    yes yes, i probably lean too too much in the direction of optimism, but that is just the way i am…if i went DOWN, i would probably not get back UP…so i just try to stay UP and focus on the good side of human nature, but being fully aware of the demons in all of us…

    but, for sure, if Panos and you and i were in the same room at the same time and drinking a cold beer and listening to some good music and maybe looking at photographs or talking about photographs or about love or about the weather or whatever , i truly believe we would all walk out together with a “high five” and a big hug as a goodbye…i might even try to organize such a meeting!!!

    peace, david

  • Well, we might just get that chance in South Dakota!

  • David

    I mentioned many post ago that my english is too primitive to say what I want. Many times I wrote something and then I see it look so agressive. why? I’m not at all.
    I wish to speak english as bob do.
    words fly…
    even if I must stop read his long comments after half…
    You guys talking about art and life, and I? I can talk about nothing with words I have.
    Yes I’m angry… only for my self. what I’m doing here? I have thousands thoughts per second and I’m writing few words by half hour, and even then this is not what i want to say straightly.
    I have nothing to anybody. Why should I?

  • hey marcin,

    don’t get too down on yourself. you’re doing fine, you make sense when you write. i doubt if anyone is judging you here. if they are who cares, write it anyway.

    keep going, never give in.


  • Marcin:

    u should hear my Czech ;))))))))…your English is stronger, more beautiful (less aggressive) and stronger than my russian (and my wife is russian) or my Czech (which is totally disappeared)….

    believe me friend, u have NOTHING to feel frustrated about…language is only for communication and to be together…

    words?…well, when u write, i always listen: and i dont say this cause of you being Marcin, but because what u write/say is always interesting…and, trust me,

    it’s the stupid thing since the world uses english: i just have luck of being born speaking english, but doesnt mean what i write is better…

    only fucking longer ;)))))))))


  • Thanks guys…

    But i’m not frustrated, I’m… hmmm angry for myself… piss of? englishman said if i’m not wrong.
    Bob we have something similar, I’m not speaking czech too.
    Your wife is Russian? Now I know why you always writing about her. Russian women are very beautiful. Amazing nation.

  • I agree with Bob and everybody above..
    Bob , Marcin, you guys should hear me speaking Czech …
    LOL . My girlfriend eventually gave up teaching me..
    I was doing so the point she thought I was being sarcastic…
    ( damn reputation )…
    I want also to disagree with everyone about the “who is more beautiful :
    Russian or Czech girls…
    VIVA CZECH Republic…
    people what do you think?
    I totally vote for the CZECH girls…
    people , what do you expect ME to say?
    After the “birthday fiasco”… I dont wanna sleep in the couch again …
    (LOL )

  • Marcin: :))

    ooooo, :))))…Marcin, you’re speaking Polish, fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck ;))))…see how stupid i am :))))…why did i think u were
    Czech? ;)))….yea, my wife is “beautiful” (i aint, though) and really smart…and cool…and good photographer too :))

    panos :))))

    why do i think u smooth ting with all the ladies?…i dont buy it: i think u are da player VSOP, dog! :))))..VIVA ALL GIRLS ! :))…



  • and honestly , I DO love my girlfriend..
    and actually… Marcin, you should hear her accent…
    Absolutely in love with her accent…
    Do I always understand her?
    No, but that’s part of the fun you know…

    (laughing)… Absolutely , RIGHT ON,
    question to all?
    Can photographers have a ” normal” relationship?
    I’m not only talking about fashion photographers,
    ( unless gay? They get more pussy than rock stars do )
    I’m talking about photojournalists,
    kinda like our “MAESTRO” here…
    travelling all the time,.. Galleries, exhibitions, etc.
    Now, if you leave the fiancée at home she gets mad..
    the finest girls are not hanging in bars or football games…
    the finest girls love, sexy, loose open minded artists like DAH…
    they are not looking for machismo…

    I’m not famous, but David?, how can you stay loyal
    when there are at least 10 women in any of your shows,
    throwing the pussy at you???

    Che Guevara
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

    For his part Jon Lee Anderson author of the 800 + page biography ‘Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life’ [22] has stated that: “Those persons executed by Guevara or on his orders were condemned for the usual crimes punishable by death at times of war or in its aftermath: desertion, treason, rape, torture, or murder.” [23] Anderson’s biography has been criticized by Conservative Cuban exile and author Humberto Fontova…

    …he was captured in a military operation supported by the CIA and the U.S. Army Special Forces.[26] Guevara was summarily executed by the Bolivian Army in the town of La Higuera near Vallegrande on October 9, 1967. [27][28]…

    Its not even my words…


  • people talking shit about “CHE”…!
    next thing i know… people will talk shit about FRIDA KAHLO…
    … or TROTSKY….
    I’ve had it…

    “ADD”……(attention deficiency disorder)..
    one of my mental malfunctions…
    Having said that… i love the MULTIPLE POSTS IDEA…
    It’s like living in a house with a lot of rooms instead of a studio apartment…


    …when Khrushchev agreed to withdraw the missiles from Cuban territory without consulting Castro, Guevara had grown increasingly skeptical of the Soviet Union. As revealed in his last speech in Algiers, he had come to view the Northern Hemisphere, led by the U.S. in the West and the Soviet Union in the East, as the exploiter of the Southern Hemisphere….


    panos says “fuck you to “GOOGLE -CHINA”…that releases information to the government… of todays COMMUNIST CHINA…
    of poor young people that envision “freedom”..
    2008 and still in COMMUNIST- SOCIALIST -DICTATORSHIP – CHINA… people get arrested, imprisoned and executed because of what they post or read in the web…
    FUCK COMMUNIST CHINA.. for not letting his HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA to go back home in Tibet…
    FUCK MYANMAR AND THE BIG BROTHER CHINA… for beating, abducting, killing, BUDDHIST MONKS…

    o.k, back to your life…
    lets start debating… if a mustang is better than a camaro…
    or if a canon is better than a sigma camera…


    i am rushing BUT…

    you are an artist….you make great sense every time you write…period.

    do not stop. period.

    peace, david

  • David

    I do not stop. I just must from time to time do aggrrrrrrrrrrrr!

  • so, to all of you i ask…would you sacrifice your “art” and your talent for what you considered to be a “worthy cause” ?

    Yes that’s pretty much what I try to do all the time. I’m not that interested in art or money. well OK I’m interested in both but I’m more interested in what I consider to be worthy causes.

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