Presentation of Che's diaries and discussion with the translator Jadran Sterle
Thursday 16 April 2009 at 7 pm, MMC Kibla - the presentation of two diaries by Che Guevara, written in various periods of his life. Both diaries were published by Sanje publishing in 2008.
We all know Ernesto Che Guevara, the revolutionary. What we don't know, is that he was an excellent diarist who noted down all his experience and observations. So we have the interesting record of how the 23-year-old Ernesto and his friend Alberto Granada travelled across Latin America - The Motorcycle Diaries. Even as a secondary school student, Ernesto "Che" Guevara was active in the fight against Peron. He was reading books on socialist ideas more and more, he learned about Marx and Lenin, he read the Peruvian publicist Mariategui, probably the most important indigenous Latin American Marxist between the world wars. Ernesto believed that the fight against Peronism should not be limited to Argentina. Rather, a campaign should have been initiated across Latin America against misery, backwardness, addiction and dictatorship. Therefore he wished to travel together with Alberto Granada as many countries as possible to learn about the living conditions. So they saw the other, darker side of South America, the strenuous life of Latin American Indigenous people, poverty, leprosy, unsure social conditions. This travel awoke Ernesto's revolutionary nature, which struggled for justice and respect of each and every person.
The Bolivian Diary provides an account of the final part of life Che Guevara, the legendary South American revolutionary. Hiding from the American intelligence agency, he retreated to Bolivian forests with a group of people, whom he trained in guerrilla battle. Bolivia was supposed to offer the best opportunities for action as the left in the country was shattered and disordered. Che thought guerrilla could serve as the basis to accumulate the strongest revolutionary forces, providing its core and support. He believed that Bolivia suffered such disappointment it would be easy to raise and mobilise people. Lying in the centre of the continent, it would offer the ideal position for further spread of the revolutionary fire. On 9 October 1967, the Americans tracked down Che Guevara and executed him in the small, hidden and forgotten village of Igueras.
A special guest of the event was Jadran Sterle, translator of the Bolivian Diary. At the end of the 1970's he spent two years in Cuba. During this period he was particularly enthralled by two books: the novel The Kingdom of this World written by Alejo Carpentier, and Che's Bolivian Diary, which he started to translate immediately. As regards Che Guevara, Sterle was fascinated by the "ethical factor continuously present in his activity and writings; the indestructible wish to eliminate the injustice performed by the wealthy over the poor." The discussion with the translator was hosted by Simona Kopinšek.