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Cuba and Algeria in Print & in Person

What do Cuba and Algeria have in common? Revolutionary Zeal.

In May of 1962, two images appeared on the front page of an Algerian revolutionary newspaper. Standing at the base of a hill are a group of rebel fighters, clutching their rifles. Dressed in mismatched fatigues and various hats, this image depicts a guerrilla revolutionary force. The group, standing in rows as they march ahead, appears to have been fighting for years.

Algerie: Un d├ętachement de FLN (A Detachment [military unit] of the FLN)

With the mountain in the background, it is easy to imagine these forces are stationed on the mountainous island of Cuba, where guerrilla fighters utilized the mountain terrain for cover. Another image depicts a closer look at these revolutionary guerrillas, although most of these men have no hats.

Cuba: Un milice populaire (popular military)

While the closer image does indeed depict the Cuban guerrillas, or popular military, the first image is of the Algerian independence fighters. The first clear difference between the images is the presence of hats in the photo of the Algerian rebel fighters, who would attempt to capture hats from French soldiers to add to their uniforms.

These two images were on the front page of the May 12, 1962 issue of El Moudjahid (the newspaper of the revolutionary force in Algeria fighting for independence from the French). The juxtaposition of these two images was intentional: to demonstrate the parallel links between the two movements.

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