Death Creates Icons: Che Guevara and Osama bin Laden

They uncovered his face, now clear and serene, and bared the chest wracked by 40 years of asthma and months of hunger in the wilds of the Bolivian southeast. Then they laid him out in the laundry room at the hospital of Nuestra Señora de Malta, raising his head so all could look upon the fallen prey. As they placed him on the concrete slab, they … asked the nurse to wash him, comb his hair, and trim the sparse beard. By the time journalists and curious townspeople began to file past, the metamorphosis was complete: the dejected, angry and disheveled man of the day before was now the Christ of Vallegrande … The Bolivian army had made its only field error after capturing its greatest war trophy. It had transformed the resigned and cornered revolutionary … into the magical image of life beyond death. His executioners had bestowed a human face upon the myth that would circle the world.”

HAVE A TIP OR STORY IDEA? CONTACT ME TODAY

Thus began Jorge Castañeda’s touching biography, “Companero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara“. After Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of the U.S. Marines on May 2nd, Time magazine invited him to write an essay on iconicity of death (link), which concludes:

We do know a lesson we learned nearly half a century ago, that the best way to avoid an effigy of martyrdom is to dispose of the material basis for it. But there is a downside to no face, no body and no picture: in the eyes of many, insufficient proof of death. Skepticism vs. glorification — not an easy choice.”

Have a story tip or idea?  I’m always on the lookout for unique people, places and things.  Everyone has a story to tell.  Not everyone can tell their story.  When you have a unique story and you’re ready to share it with the world, please keep me in mind.  You can see some of the media outlets my work has been featured in by clicking here.  Ready to have your story told?  Contact today!

Jerry Nelson is an American freelance photojournalist.  When not traveling, he can be found on the streets of Buenos Aires as Lead Photographer for BuenosTours, the largest private tour company in South America.  Connect with Jerry on MosaicHub, Facebook or LinkedIn today.  Have a story that needs to reach national media?  Email him today.

Find Jerry on Google+


Ready to do business?  See samples of my work in my portfolio, proudly sponsored by Marc & Dean at PressFolios.com  If you’re a journalist, photographer or blogger, be sure to check out their services!


 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s