Invited to Caracas by Venezuela’s Centro Nacional de la Fotografía (CENAF), U.S. social documentary photographer Bill Hackwell spent this year’s April 11-13 anniversary celebrations photographing the Venezuelan people and their struggle to defend Venezuela’s participatory democracy. The resulting images, part of Hackwell’s photo essay entitled “A Glimpse of the Bolivarian Process,” provide an important look into the struggle for justice in the aftermath of the 11 April 2002 coup de e’tat that saw democratically-elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez removed from office by a combination of opposition forces that included private media outlets, leaders of the business community, and high-ranking military officials – not to mention the U.S. embassy in Caracas. On 13 April 2002, two days after his forced removal, mass demonstrations brought Chávez back to the presidency; where he remains to this day.
Bill Hackwell is contemporary photographer who lives and works in San Francisco Bay Area. The bulk of his work has focused on social change in working class and oppressed communities. He has worked as the photographer for number of non-profit and humanitarian aid groups working in many parts of the world. For over 30 years Hackwell has documented and participated in movements against war and for social justice. He has covered news stories including Hurricane Katrina, the immigrant rights marches in 2006, the major anti war demonstrations in the U.S. and the struggle to free the Cuban 5. He is also a national organizer with the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) in the U.S.