The factual power of propaganda resides in its capacity to manipulate the individual through symbols that condition him ideologically, mobilizing him in a certain direction. Hack De Patria (HDP) is a mobile application developed by Refrakt and Dismantling the Simulation collective, that allows us to see the underlying message behind political propaganda in Venezuela. It is a critic from the arts that is articulated using augmented reality technology and whose objective is the use of ideology and propaganda by Chavismos.
HDP intervenes with two logos to reveal a hidden message. The first is the image of Chavez‘s eyes, a symbol overused by the government after his death. Hugo Chavez‘s eyes are spread around Venezuela – they are the omnipresence in his absence – Can be seen on giant billboards, the facade of public buildings, graffiti murals, t-shirts, hats, jewelry and even school books. The second one is the controversial MIN Unidad political party logo, whose name and graphic composition is almost identical to the one used by the opposition party. Its slogan says „We are the opposition,“ however, their candidates are Chavistas.
Dismantling the Simulation is an initiative of participatory visual activism. It was born as an experimental Facebook group a few days after diverse impeachments on violations on Human Rights occurred during the student protests against Nicolas Maduro in February.
It is a collective action that seeks to question and dismantle the different discourses, events and the information distribution schemes operating in Venezuela. The material created by users should be taken as a historical testimony of the situation in Venezuela in the post-Chávez era.