Talk: Guadalupe Rosales Presents “Southern California Chicano Party Crews and Rave Scene in the 1990s”

Event Date: 
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 4:00pm
Event Location: 
CSRC Library - 144 Haines Hall

Guadalupe Rosales's collection at the CSRC consists of ephemera and memorabilia that highlight the Chicana/o underground party crews and rave scenes of Los Angeles during the 1990s. These gatherings occurred in residential backyards and industrial warehouses throughout Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, Highland Park, as well as neighborhoods in the San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, and Southeast Los Angeles. This youth culture phenomenon also occurred in cities such as Sacramento and San Diego, and in Orange County and the U.S. Southwest. Popular party crews during this time included Aztek Nation, East LA Madness, East LA Q-Teez, Midnight Pleasure, Swing Kidz, and Operation X, among others.

Disempowered and criminalized by the public school system and at times mainstream media, party crews allowed youth to engage in resistant cultural practices, organizing for the sake of unity. Music played a key role: these house parties and raves were driven by techno, house, new wave, and “KROQ/80’s flashbacks” music, establishing a unique form of dancing, fashion, and the creation of underground communities.

Panelists will discuss how this collection highlights the organic and resourceful ways in which Chicana/o youth cultures worked to create and promote a more culturally relevant and self-reflective space. The panel will represent individuals who were deeply involved in this cultural scene, with members from Aztek Nation and Latin Underground a DJ and a photographer for Street Beat magazine.

Panelists include Rosales, former party crew members, plus other special guests. Sandra Ruiz, visiting lecturer in the departments of Chicana/o Studies and Spanish & Portuguese, will moderate the discussion.

This event is open and free to the public. We encourage you to wear or bring your old school party crew gear and represent!

Guadalupe Rosales is a visual artist whose work utilizes marginalized histories and personal experiences – memory, trauma and nostalgia. She is currently working on a project dealing with the Los Angeles party crew and rave scene in the ’90s that will be exhibited in 2017 at PSSST, an artist-run not-for-profit space locate in Boyle Heights.

A recording of this event can be found on the UCLA CSRC YouTube channel.

This event is organized by the CSRC with support from the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies.

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