Immortalised in photographs

The image was used to decorate the façade of the Biblioteca National Jose Marti in Havana. It was also displayed in the Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana. Prints were then distributed at mass rallies in Havana as well as Santiago de Cuba. Millions of copies of the photo and others were displayed throughout the country in the nine days that followed Castro’s passing.

As his funeral procession traveled across the country, hundreds of thousands of Cubans lined the highways and towns along the route. The procession was a symbol of the victory caravan of the Cuban rebel army following the Cuban Revolution of 1959. The procession went through major towns such as Matanzas and Santa Clara before stopping in Camaguey, Las Tunas, Sancti Spiritus, and Camaguey. It arrived at Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on December 3, 1959.

The photographic revolution

Castro’s image played a key role in his seduction of a large audience as soon as he appeared on the international stage in the 1950s. In the early days, Castro understood the power of photography and called for the creation of picture magazines to document the story of Cuba’s new revolution in pictures. His alluring appearance still dominates the discussion of his personality.

Cubans and people around the world are captivated by the images of Castro and Che Guevara. They have become a part of the collective memory and imagination about the Cuban Revolution. The choice of an image by Alberto Korda for Castro’s monument was, therefore, fitting. The iconic photograph of Che by the same photographer taken in 1960 became the quintessential image of revolution and rebellion.

Cuban students holding flags and posters of Fidel Castro outside the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba on Dec.

On the eve before Fidel Castro’s funeral, FEU members attended a rally at the Plaza de la Revolucion Antonio Maceo. James Kent, the Author, provided

Placards made by the public at a mass eulogy in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolucion on November 29, 2016. James Kent

More than half a century later, it’s not uncommon to see photographs of the two revered Cuban heroes in both public spaces and in the homes of Cubans across the country. But while Korda’s iconic photograph froze Che at 31 years old in the revolution’s fervent early years, Castro held the world’s attention for five decades.

It will be fascinating to see in the future how Castro and Cubans remember him, particularly if the Cuban Parliament passes the proposed law that prevents permanent tributes.

Cubans and Castro’s photos were captured by visiting photographers in Havana. Havana is one of the most photographed cities in the world. The Cubans posed for foreigners and spoke to them about Castro’s influence on their lives.

Legend, wizard father

Cubans that I photographed called Castro “un mito,” “un mago,” or “mi padre.” Some people painted the words “Yo Soy Fidel” on their faces. He was immortalized not only by the photos they carried but also by those taken during his lifetime.

Castro’s likeness and image appeared all over the place, from childhood pictures to images in his 80s. It was on billboards, newspapers, makeshift shrines in shops, car windows, and banners.

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