Self Portrait As A Loyalist Militiaman.

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Recently, i was remembering the work of a good friend of mine. For her major project in the Masters Degree i am studying for now, she had examined one of the most famous images in all photography. Robert Capa’s Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death.

This image is now widely believed to have been faked. Geographic surveys have put the terrain of the photograph to be at least 35 miles away from where it was said to have been taken in Cerro Muirano. A fictional photograph of a mans death. This suddenly sparked a sudden link between this image and the Self Portrait As  A Drowned Man image that i have based almost the past 4 years (and counting) work on.

As a conceptual ideal, is there any real difference between this one and that of the militiaman? Both fictional deaths with a motive behind them. Both using the fundamental ideal that the camera never lies to emphasise and promote an issue. Apart from the fact that one was an open fraud from the beginning and the others veracity was defended to the bitter end, i see no actual conceptual difference between them. And so, i am left to dream:

“The corpse which you see here is that of S. Garcia, loyal to the end as you have just seen, or the marvellous victory of which you are going to see. To my knowledge this ingenious and indefatigable patriot has been fighting for about three years with his enemy. The Nationalists, the Communists and all those who have seen his wrath, that he himself found justified; have admired it as you do at this moment. This has brought him much honor but has not yielded him a single farthing. The government, having given too much to S. Franco, has said it could do nothing for S. Garcia, and the unhappy man has been assassinated. Oh! The fickleness of human affairs! Artists, scholars, journalists were occupied with him for a long time, but here he has been at the scene for several days, and no one has recognized or claimed him. Ladies and gentlemen, you’d better pass along for fear of offending your sense of smell, for as you can observe, the resolve of the gentleman is beginning to decay.”


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