Commoditizing Che


Iconization of a person is a rare event in human history. Only very few who have walked on this earth have managed to make it. A human being transcends into a superior level through iconization. For instance, through the symbol of cross Jesus was iconized. In the modern day world Gandhi has become synonymous to ‘Ahimsa’. Among the social iconoclasts of the twentieth century only Che Quevara achieved it. Now the very word ‘Revolution’ is enough to bring his image and thoughts to our mental screens.




This Argentinean born doctor has transcended his land and went on to become not just the son of the soil, but ‘the son of humanity’ through his selfless thinking and service. Post his death in 1967 he could now be spotted everywhere- T-shirts, cups, key chains, caps, posters, wall papers, what not?. His image has become the most replicated image in the world and none could deny that.

He is a rare personality to be witnessed in the pages of human history. Every leader across the world has stood for the people of their country, race, and ideology and so on. But Che is the only icon who had stood for the oppressed people anywhere in the world. His revolutionary ideology cannot be contained just as that of a Cuban revolutionary; instead his’ voice rose against every human being whose freedom was denied.



All his life he denounced capitalism and if he was alive now he would have risen against the corporatism beyond doubt. But lately this revolutionary icon has been reduced to a fashion status. Any day while walking on a busy street we might stumble upon a person wearing a T-Shirt sporting an image of Che or an artistic rendition of him. But how many of among those really know who he is and what his ideology is?




It is sad to see the consumerism fuelled by corporatism/neo-capitalism has succeeded in transforming the image of an unparalleled icon that stood against capitalism into a commodity.

What an irony?!


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  • True it’s an irony. While I do not necessarily see anything grossly wrongly about the use of Che’s image, but what is sad is when the upcoming generations say ‘We don’t know who he is, be he is cool.’