Last year Bolivia lost an extraordinary artist. At 26 years old, Abraham Bojorquez had survived just about everything—years as a kid on the streets in Sao Paolo, Bolivia’s most violent confrontations (first as a military conscript defending the palace, later as a protester attacking it), and daily life in El Alto. This slideshow put to his Aymara and Spanish lyrics, narrates a bit of Abraham’s life and that of Bolivia’s over the past few years. Bolivia has undergone transformative changes during the past decade, initiated from the streets and the ballot box. Abraham told the stories of this process, and lived his lyrics. I first met Abraham at dawn on a roadblock on election day, dressed in fatigues and a ski mask; burning tires amid a few tirades. I last saw him while we shared beers in a popular La Paz bar.
In between those few years, Abraham became the leader of Bolivia’s hip-hop movement and a frequent figure on local talk-shows. He was featured by the world’s largest media: CNN, the New York Times, NPR, Paris Match, Pagina 12, El Mundo, Reuters, the BBC. His story fascinated everyone, and he was an eloquent, charismatic voice for El Alto.