He is the «faithful son of Marti, America´s astonishment, Titan of the heroic deed, » who was invoked by the Indio Naborí in his Triumphal March…or he is that to whom Neruda devoted his epic poem because the people are grateful for «words of action and events that sing. » Photo: Ángel González BaldrichZoom
Gabriel García Márquez, the loyal friend of Fidel, wrote about him «He is the inspiration: the irresistible and blinding state of grace that only can be denial by those who haven’t had the glory of living that state of grace. » These words by the Colombian Nobel prizewinner reveal in poetic prose the real mystery of the rebel image which has spread its metaphors all over the world.
Scholars of the visual art usually talk about the indispensable components in a photo like figure, form, perspective, volume, texture, tone or color. However, how can the mystics that come from the person who is photographed be captured? What is the manual that instructs how the camera zooms in dreams in the very moment they arise? A dazzle is necessary, a state of grace that moves and puts pressure on the shutter, almost by inertia.
And, this state of grace has been present in those who have had the glory of spending moments together with Fidel and left their snapshots registered on the pages of Juventud Rebelde (JR). Thus, the 50-years-old JR pays homage to its founder through a selection of 50 photos that show the chronological tour, which do not reflect all the incessant activity of the protagonist; but his moral height, his seductive personality and his prophetic gaze.
His youth and rebel spirit; his permanent tie with the youngest, his concern for transmitting ideas to the people; the heat of his physical presence in the sadness moments for the death of a friend or the enjoyment of embracing a compatriot, are also present in the photos. And, the esthetics of his dreamlike stamp, the beauty of the soul devoted to the just and noble causes are unveiled in each of the faces, as if those who have shown his profile and have raised it for posterity were poets instead of photographers.
The secret lies in the fact that Fidel is Fidel. The same Fidel who was admired by Father Llorente, one of his teachers at the Belén School, and who, in the graduation book of the 1944-1945 academic year wrote the prophesy: «Fidel has the makings and the artist will also be present. » The same Fidel described by Carilda Oliver Labra as « Fidel, the rebel / respected by the masses / the boyfriend of all girls / who has an honest dream. » The same Fidel who Che called «the ardent prophet of the dawn, » and Fidel came from Mexico together with Che to liberate Cuba «defeating affronts with the forehead. »
He is the «faithful son of Marti, America´s astonishment, Titan of the heroic deed, » who was invoked by the Indio Naborí in his Triumphal March...or he is that to whom Neruda devoted his epic poem because the people are grateful for «words of action and events that sing. »
That is the Fidel of our time. He is poetic, charming, the driving force of conquering dreams. His temperament, his track, the part of his history that belongs to all, are present here. There isn’t a Cuban; even he who doesn’t share his ideas, who could dismiss his transforming work. And, from his transforming work has emerged that mantle of lyricism; that inspiration, the state of purity appreciated by Gabo and captured by the lenses of each photographer to fill with visual poetry the 89th birthday of a rebel in Rebelde.
* Speech by the member of JR Board of Directors, Journalist Yoerky Sánchez Cuellar, during the opening of the photographic exhibition Un rebelde en Rebelde, launched last Monday at the José Martí Memorial.
Translated by ESTI