“‘Veterana’ means someone who has put in work or time in the gang culture, and ‘ruca’ is what you call your chick,” Guadalupe Rosales told the LA Weekly about her new Instagram account. “If you know these words, you can connect with me and the West Coast.” Veteranas_and_rucas, which we first learned about on Artbound, is a crowdsourced archive of Chicana life in the 1990s that started as a way to reconnect with Rosales’ past and perhaps find friends and loved ones.
“What I’m interested in posting is women that look like strong women. They look tough, and I like showing photographs like that because I want to say that women can be attractive when they’re strong women,” she explained.
The vintage photos capture a slice of the SoCal gang and party scene, but the account has also reunited people — including Rosales and her former best friend from the East LA party crew Aztek Nation.
The project has captured the attention of UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center where Rosales exhibited photos, videos, and other memorabilia. She also has a 2017 show at PSSST Gallery in Los Angeles. Contribute to the project via Instagram.