Latino USA sits down with Rosales and her collaborator, Eddie Ruvalcaba, who photographed many of the parties during his teens. The pair give a glimpse of what those nights looked like and what happened when the party ended.
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.
In East LA during the early '90s, Latino neighborhoods were home to a thriving party circuit that laid the foundations for the city's dance music scene. Matt McDermott charts the history of this overlooked community.
Veteranas and Rucas is an Instagram account dedicated to the SoCal ’90s party crew scene, which Guadalupe Rosales—New York-based, Los Angeles-raised—fanatically documents as part of her Map Pointz archive.
"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."
"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."
LA Weekly Interview: How an Instagram Account Became a Portal to 1990s Chicano Gang Life