Revolution! Latin Americas Photo Call

The most iconic photograph of the 20th century is a Latin American one. It was taken in 1960 by the Cuban photographer Alberto Korda, and it depicts the 31-year-old Che Guevara, wearing a black beret and an expression of total determination. You know the one I mean: it went on to adorn the bedsit walls and T-shirts of countless students over the decades, and is reckoned to be the most reproduced image in history. But what about the rest of Latin America’s photographic legacy?

You can find out at ‘America Latina: 1960-2013’ at the Cartier Foundation in Paris, the first major exhibition of Latin American photography in Europe. A short walk from Raspail metro station near Montparnasse, The Foundation is worth photographing itself – designed by Jean Nouvel, it’s a startling work of architecture, with a landscape woodland garden sealed in behind huge, clear glass screens. Inside, the exhibition brings together 70 artists from 11 countries, from Argentina to Venezuela, and begins where that Korda photo leaves off, covering a revolutionary period in the region’s history.

Vanishing traditions, changing urban landscapes, oppression and censorship, even the ephemera of popular culture are covered. ­In many Latin American countries, the latter half of the 20th century was a time of political and economic instability, with a succession of guerrilla movements and military regimes. Artists include Chile’s Eugenio Dittborn, who sent ‘airmail paintings’ around the world the circumvent his country’s cultural isolation under Pinochet, and Brazil’s Regina Silveira, who creates optical illusions with images taken from tourist guides and magazines. It’s a rare opportunity to delve into the history of the region and discover the works of major artists rarely exhibited in Europe.

Until 6 April 2014. 261 Boulevard Raspail, Paris (+33 1 42 18 56 50;

Pictured: Untitled (Rings), 2006, by Mexico photographer Miguel Calderon

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