Voices from the Barrio
Con Safos: Reflections of Life in the Barrio
by Maxine Borowsky Junge & Con Safos
This book tells the story of a groundbreaking event in Chicano history. Here, for the first time, is the complete story of East Los Angeles’ "Con Safos: Reflections of Life in the Barrio," the first independent Chicano literary magazine. Created by a legendary group of audacious and furiously independent barrio intellectuals and artists, connected to no established group and working on their own dime, 10 magazine issues were produced in the late 1960s and 1970s. Many writers and artists who would later become well-known were first published in "Con Safos." Bilingual, using Caló and barrio slang, "Con Safos" helped bring to attention an important inner vision, of Mexican American family life, "El Movimiento" --the Chicano civil rights protest movement--and "El Moratorium" the Chicano movement against the Vietnam War. It used humor to tilt at establishment windmills. It made fun of everything--even itself, as it took on the most serious questions of the day including racism and discrimination. There were those that hated it and those that loved it, but everybody read it. As it became the "Voice of the Barrio" it helped create a Chicano aesthetic that enhanced the development of Chicano identity. In a last chapter of the book, "Con Safos" "vatos" tell what they are doing now. Their contemporary lives reflect and illuminate the persistence of creativity through the life span.
Maxine Borowsky Junge is the writer of nine non-fiction books, mostly about creativity and art therapy. She was Chair of the Marital and Family/Clinical Art Therapy Department at Loyola Marymount University, where she was also Chair of the Committee on the Status of Women, Faculty Grievance and Social Justice Committees. She is now Professor Emerita. Dr. Junge is an art psychotherapist, family systems therapist, organizational development consultant and visual artist doing drawings and paintings about mass murders for the last 15 years. Born in Los Angeles she has been a friend to many "Consafiados" for decades and watched as the magazine developed.
Con Safos is the contemporary group who are the co-authors of this book. They are Oscar Castillo, Arturo Flores, Antonio Solís Gómez, Sergio Hernández, Ralph F. López Grijalva-Urbina and Diane Velarde Hernández. Along with oral history interviews, there are written excerpts from novels by Antonio Solís Gómez and Ralph F. López Grijalva-Urbina, artwork from Sergio Hernández, and photographs by Oscar Castillo.