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Teaching Che: a picture is worth a thousand words (or t-shirts)

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The familiarity of iconic photographs make them helpful tools for building young people’s visual literacy, particularly those with limited art experience. In a seminar designed to introduce first-year college students to the rigours of academic work, Alberto Korda’s photograph of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara is the icon of choice. History has given Guevara many guises; throughout the course students consider how Guevara and others constructed his image, and how the replication of that image can be deconstructed in terms of various art media. Wedding word and image, and using museum-education techniques combined with traditional art-historical modes of inquiry, students explore the meaning of the man behind the t-shirt.
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Keywords: Che; art education; lesson plans; museum education; revolution

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 24, 2011

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  • The scope of the journal is broad and is aimed at facilitating a wide spectrum of perspectives. It is essentially a medium for engaging the rich and multifaceted process of learning and teaching art that takes place in the classroom, studio, and beyond. However, the seriousness of journal is not out weighed by making critical topics accessible and readable to a large constituency of readers. It is a forum to be reflective on the process of creating and teaching art, embrace teaching art in a variety of contexts, engage art appreciation experiences, share scholarship in teaching artistry, and celebrate the rich traditions of art making and teaching.
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