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Yousuf KARSH | Fidel Castro

KARSH, Yousuf
Armenia 1908 – United States of America 2002
1925 Canada
Fidel Castro 1971
gelatin silver photograph
printed image 99.0 (h) x 73.6 (w) cm
Purchased 1973
NGA 1974.396.42
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‘This Cuban revolutionary leader, with the face of a mystic poet, took off his regulation gun with a gesture of fatigue, and wearily placed it on the table beside him. We discussed governments, the art of communication and great men and women of achievement, in a photographic session which lasted many hours.’ (Karsh)

Fidel Castro graduated from HavanaUniversity with a Doctor of Laws degree in 1950. While at university he became a popular student leader and entered Cuban politics. His attempt in 1953 to start a revolution failed and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison but was released in 1955. He went into exile in Mexico and in 1956 returned to Cuba. He waged guerrilla warfare against the government and Batista was forced to flee on 1 January 1959. Castro became head of the government. In 1979 he became leader of the Non-Aligned Movement. He has maintained Communism in Cuba following the collapse of the Soviet Bloc.

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