First, an anecdote. Back in 2006, I was visiting Amsterdam. A friend and I were wandering around downtown, and came across an exclusive cigar shop. Very fancy. They had some of their most eye-catching products in the shop window. I am no cigar afficionado, I don’t even smoke, so none of it meant much to me. Something caught my attention though. What was that we saw? A true prize item. A large, beautiful wooden box (humidor is the word, apparently) of real Cuban cigars … adorned with a picture – that picture – of Che Guevara.
The box even featured, in a handsome scrawl, the famous appeal: “Hasta la Victoria Siempre!”
Price of said humidor: Euro 3,000.
It was designed, apparently, by the exclusive Parisian manufacturer Elie Bleu, which produces “some of the world’s finest humidors [..] handcrafted from natural or tinted mahogany and sycamore.” Each box features a “meticulously brilliant finish, a delicate process done by hand.” The Che Guevara range was, of course, a strictly limited edition.
The box in question is still on sale online: here, for example, for $5,000, or here for $4,785. Or you can order it here at the smart price of just 2,340 euro. Bizarrely, it comes accompanied by a Che-themed ashtray, available online for just $350.
Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
Hey, didn’t Jay-Z rap, ”I’m like Che Guevara with bling on”? Now, Che is the bling.
In the same spirit, I want to take you through some of the Che-related, Creative Commons-licensed photos on Flickr. I always trawl through Flickr to find illustrations for these blog posts. For the Che post from the other day, there was more than could fit with the post. Hence, this photo gallery. Oh, the humanity.
Taking the biscuit: Using Che to promote the stock exchange. Photo by patapat, used under CC license.
“Be realistic: demand the impossible”. Billboard for Swissquote, “the Swiss leader in online trading”. Discover the world of the stock exchange with the Swissquote Box for 29,90 Swiss Francs!
Mixed message? Photo by TobiasAC, under CC license.
How the Finnish market recycles the Che icon. The photographer keenly observes: “What I don’t understand is the political implications: does owning this mean “I love you, Che Guevara, so much that I want you to greet me every day as I come home” or “Up yours, Che Guevara — I wipe my feet on you!”? This, I do not know.”"
Gay Che, donning the pink. photo by s.o.f.t. under CC license.
“Gay Chevara” with pink beret: Part of the Art Below exposition in the London tube.
Che at the ration card office. Photo by Alex Barth, under CC license.
“Ration card office, La Habana, 2000″
Continue Reading »