Episode 62 – Decolonizing & Indigenizing Storytelling, Part 1

A Public Talk by Julián Esteban Torres López

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Colonization has not ended. We are not in a post-colonial age in a similar way that we are not in a post-racial age. Colonization has simply become normalized, perpetuated by dominant culture narratives, and accepted by the majority as part of life. On this episode, we share a virtual public talk Julián Esteban Torres López gave entitled “Decolonizing and Indigenizing Storytelling,” hosted by the Department of Language, Literature, and Arts at Texas A&M, San Antonio. Julián centers the talk around several questions:

  • What does it mean to decolonize and Indigenize storytelling?
  • How do institutionalized Euro-centric storytelling frameworks limit creativity, understanding of stories and histories, and how we relate to others, our selves, our environment, and our art creations?
  • What does it mean to center Indigenous ways of thinking, knowing, and creating in storytelling?
  • How can we reimagine and redesign and free ourselves from the shackles and limitations of colonial storytelling?

He shares his story; discusses his storytelling work across various media platforms; and addresses the importance of decolonizing storytelling, affirming Indigenous traditions, and creating safe and encouraging spaces for BIPOC stories.

***

We’d like to thank Rigorous (a journal edited and written by people of color) for publishing Julián’s poem “The Wind” in its Volume 5, Issue 2. We’d also like to thank the Dr. Alexandra Rodriguez Sabogal and Dr. Katherine Gillen (chair of the Department of Language, Literature, and Arts at Texas A&M, San Antonio) for all of the hours of preparation they put into making this event happen. Also thank you to Myrna Garza (chair of Native American Heritage Month Committee) and Tamara Hinojosa and the President’s Commission on Equity for their work and support of this event. We’d also like to thank the university’s Spanish, Bilingual Education, Mexican-American and Latinx Studies, Communication, English, and First Year Experience programs for making this event possible. And gracias to the entire Texas A&M, San Antonio, cohort and everyone who attended the event virtually from around the world. 

HOST

Julián Esteban Torres López (he/him/his/él) is a bilingual, Colombia-born storyteller, public scholar, and culture architect with Afro-Euro-Indigenous roots. For two decades, Julián has worked toward humanizing those Othered by oppressive systems and dominant cultures. He is the creator of the social justice storytelling movement The Nasiona, where he also hosts and produces The Nasiona Podcast. He’s a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions nominee; a Trilogy Award in Short Fiction finalist; a McNair Fellow; and the author of Marx’s Humanism and Its Limits and Reporting On Colombia. His poetry collection, Ninety-Two Surgically Enhanced Mannequins, is available now. His work appears in PANK MagazineInto the Void MagazineThe Acentos Review, Novus Literary and Arts Journal, Havik 2021: Inside Brilliance, among others. Julián is also a senior DEI consultant for Conscious Thrive Consulting. Julián holds a bachelor’s in philosophy and in communication and a master’s in justice studies from the University of New Hampshire and was a Ph.D. candidate at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, where he focused on political science and Latin American studies.

The Nasiona Podcast amplifies the voices and experiences of the marginalized, undervalued, overlooked, silenced, and forgotten, as well as gives you a glimpse into Othered worlds. We focus on stories that explore the spectrum of human experiencesstories based on facts, truth-seeking, human concerns, real events, and real people, with a personal touch. From liminal lives to the marginalized, and everything in between, we believe that the subjective can offer its own reality and reveal truths some facts can’t discover. Hosted, edited, and produced by Julián Esteban Torres López

Please follow The Nasiona on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for regular updates: @TheNasiona

Original music for The Nasiona Podcast was produced by the Grammy Award-winning team of Joe Sparkman and Marcus Allen, aka The Heavyweights. Joe Sparkman: Twitter + Instagram. Marcus Allen: Twitter + Instagram.

The Nasiona Magazine and Podcast depend on voluntary contributions from readers and listeners like you. We hope the value of our work to our community is worth your patronage. If you like what we do, please show this by liking, rating, and reviewing us; buying or recommending our books; and by financially supporting our work either through The Nasiona’s Patreon page or through Julián Esteban Torres López‘s Ko-fi donation platform. Every little bit helps.

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