5 x 6 = 90 / 14ymedio
14ymedio, Havana, 4 August 2016 — Five images taken over a span of six
decades form the official billboard to celebrate the 90th birthday of
former president Fidel Castro. The first two capture the young lawyer
who assaulted a military fortress and the guerrilla commander who led a
rebel army in the mountains of eastern Cuba. There is hardly a
difference of five years between them.
Among the last three there is only a decade. In the first, an
out-of-focus sea of flags evokes the era of open grandstands beginning
of this century; in the microphone in the second appears an element
inseparable from his biography: a microphone. That last catches the
occasion when, already sick and retired, he appeared before the cameras
with an inexplicable metal star fixed to his olive-green cap.
Forty years of his iconography, absent in the composition, they have
shown him in his most intense moments, when he dictated laws, orders the
construction of schools in the countryside, gave away sugar mills to
other countries, directed a war on the other side of the world, and
signed orders for executions. Also lacking are the most recent images,
those of his extreme old age: his sagging lower lip, scraggly beard, the
spots on his skin and the Adidas sportswear he dresses in.
It could be debated whether or not Fidel Castro was the Cuban who has
managed to summon more followers in a square, the most loved and the
most hated, but certainly he has the merit of being the most
photographed of all time.
Source: 5 x 6 = 90 / 14ymedio – Translating Cuba -