Press And Interviews

Back in the Days

Guadalupe Rosales and her archive of Chicano life in Los Angeles. 

By Carribean Fragoza


Guadalupe Rosales moved to New York with little more than a stack of wallet-sized photographs to remind her of home. She’d left Los Angeles in 2000, a few years after her cousin, Ever Sanchez, was stabbed to death at a party. Nearing her twenties, at the beginning of a new millennium, she decided to relocate her life to New York, where she’d remain living for over a decade. During that time, as she came of age away from the violence that had marked her youth, she held on to those photographs not only as reminders of unresolved trauma, but also as important links to her past. The photographs, given to her by family and friends she had grown up with in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights, were all made in a similar “glamour-shots style” using hazy filters. In the pre-selfie era, young people would flock to their local malls wearing coordinated outfits, sharply outlined lips and eyebrows, and meticulously teased perms to pose with friends in front of ambient backdrops. The diffused lighting spared them from blemishes, including emotional ones, and saturated the images with sentimentality that with time would turn into acute nostalgia.

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A Local Artist Documents the Backyard "Ditch Parties" of L.A.'s Early Rave Scene By Jonny Coleman


Los Angeles is full of amazing stories, but all too often the positive stories from our communities of color get scrubbed from the cultural memory. Back in the late ’80s, the mainstream narrative was that gangs had taken over the working-class neighborhoods of East L.A. following white flight, a narrative that fed into larger issues of racial tension and violence in Los Angeles. Within those Chicano communities, however, there was also a thriving backyard DJ and party scene, which is now thankfully being archived and collected at Map Pointz Project by local artist Guadalupe Rosales.

KCET ARTBOUND: Veteranas and Rucas: Documenting 1990s Chicano Youth Culture

"Guadalupe Rosales uses nostalgia as the creative engine driving the Instagram feed she manages, Veteranas and Rucas. It's a digital archive on Instagram that "flashbacks" to photos from the Chicano underground of the 1990s, with a reach beyond Southern California. Sacramento, San Diego and Orange County all had elements of a residential underground during this period too.

"I brought handwritten letters from teenage boyfriends, a shoebox full of wallet size photos that friends and relatives had taken at the mall, and photos I had taken at backyard parties," says Rosales about the collection."


NPR: Instagram Project Documents East LA Latino Gang Life

"There has not been much actual documentation of the real young women who helped power Latino gang life in L.A. But they do emerge in the images of "Veteranas & Rucas," a crowd-sourced Instagram feed that documents the era via old photos, video and music. We talk to the curator, visual artist Guadalupe Rosales, herself a native of East L.A."