Remembering Los Seis: Story Mapping

Context

Remembering Los Seis was created as a term project, with partner, Claire Woodcock, for the graduate-level Digital Humanities class.  During the semester, we created a corpus of the 1970’s student-run newspaper El Diario de la Gente.  

The newspaper was an outlet for the University of Colorado, Boulder Chicanx community, a community that felt misrepresented and misunderstood. The United Mexican American Student, UMAS, group led the paper and gave the community a place to feel welcomed and celebratred.

In May of 1974, two bombs went off about 48 hours apart killing six people in Boulder County.  These victims have since been known as “Los Seis de Boulder”, the Boulder Six.  The media coverage was spotty, at best, and often included contradicting statements. El Diario de la Gente did their best to cover the story while mourning the loss of members of their community.

Remembering Los Seis takes a look at how these bombings were viewed in the media and attempts to bring awareness to a time that has been ignored.

Process

As preliminary research, we watched Symbols of Resistance, a documentary about the Chicanx movement in Colorado and Northern New Mexico.

In order to focus on press coverage, we did a close reading of newspaper articles from April-June 1974.  El Diario de la GenteColorado Daily, Daily Camera, The Denver Post, and Rocky Mountain News were all examined.

Lastly, we had the opportunity to interview and record four different participants to discuss various aspects of the events;  Jasmine Baetz, a Ph.D. candidate at CU Boulder who, along with about 200 volunteers, created a statue commemorating Los Seis;  Dr. Johanna Maes, director of the Masters of Higher Education program and Senior Instructor at CU; Deborah Espinosa, activist, and Colorado historian and Juan Espinosa, founder of El Diario de la Gente.  Deborah and Juan Espinosa were both featured in the Symbols of Resistance documentary.

Research

Newspapers

Initially, we reviewed the newspapers at the CU Boulder Special Collections & Archives Reading Room in Norlin Library. Once the newspapers were examined, we worked with the archivists to get the articles that discussed Los Seis de Boulder digitized.

Daily Camera Newspaper - May 28,1974
The Denver Post - May 3, 1974

* El Diario de la Gente courtesy of Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection 

Daily Camera and The Denver Post courtesy of University of Colorado Libraries, Special Collections & Archives

Close readings were completed noting each time the newspapers contradicted each other, or in some cases, gave false information.  There was, and still is, controversy surrounding the events.

Interviews

We created sample questions to send to each participant prior to the interview.  Everyone was informed that all questions were optional and given consent forms allowing us to use their words, whether written or recorded.  

The interviews were about 30 minutes to an hour in length.  We placed audio clips throughout the site to add context to the newspaper analysis. 

Storyboard

Presentation

On December 9, 2019, we were invited to present "Remembering Los Seis" at the Center for Research Data & Digital Scholarship, University of Colorado, Boulder.   We showed the research we had done and shed some light on the Boulder Bombings, a topic many people in Boulder have never heard of.

Click here to view Remembering Los Seis Website

Click here to download Remembering Los Seis Research

Takeaways

The opportunity to interview four people with varying backgrounds allowed for a well-rounded analysis of the events.  Claire and I did reach out to a few more people who were involved in the documentary Symbols of  Resistance but unfortunately did not hear back.

Adding more interviewees from the Chicanx community, and more specifically, people who were in Boulder at the time would better help tell the story.   While interviewing Juan Espinosa, he mentioned that he did not want to be the only affiliate of UMAS interviewed because he could only talk to his experience.  

Overall, this project achieved our goal of telling the story of the victims and the people affected by these events.  The interviews mixed with the newspaper articles added clarity and gave the story more power.  It would add to the overall goal and story if we were able to interview more people to give more sides to the story.

Other Projects: