Everything Comes from the Streets

“The origins of lowriding in the Chican@ community have been commonly traced back to the streets of East Los Angeles or Española, New Mexico. San Diego and the surrounding borderlands are often overlooked for its rich car customizing lowrider history despite the fact that some of the earliest and most active lowriding car clubs in the country were started there. A very distinct story of lowriding emerged here in San Diego with the contributions of lowrider communities and car customizers (modificadores) from Tijuana, Mexico. San Diego’s world-famous Chicano Park, home to the country’s largest outdoor collection of murals and established by the people through peaceful protest at the height of the Chicano movement, also makes the story of the evolution of lowriders here very unique. Many participants in the land take-over already were or later became lowriders. The resistance and affirmation of the lowrider community we’ve seen here, in the face of law enforcement and elected leaders who sought to suppress them and their expression of cruising, is a universal story of collective action and resilience that many communities can draw lessons from.

Everything Comes From the Streets features men and women from San Diego and Tijuana who shaped and influenced the unique car customizing movement, defined by self-expression and cultural ingenuity. Our story traverses politics, self-preservation, and the emergence of critical spaces. The film provides a different perspective contrasting the belief that lowriding is tied to “gang banging” and violence. Instead we see lowrider car clubs as an extension of families that affirm and build communities in the colorful and complex fabric of the
borderlands of the American Southwest.

Directed by Alberto López Pulido, Produced by Alberto López Pulido, Rigo Reyes and Kelly Whalen, and Edited and Photographed by Kelly Whalen
Supported by Cal Humanities and the University of San Diego

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