Storyteller + public scholar + culture architect advancing social and environmental justice
Julián Esteban Torres López (he/him/él) is a storyteller and social and environmental justice advocate and activist who helps others tell their stories and assists organizations to realign their spines so they are more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, while keeping the environment at the forefront of decision-making. He thrives in mission-driven settings that humanize the Other.
For two decades, he has studied systems of oppression and has worked toward humanizing those who have been socially, politically, and geographically excluded from the hierarchies of power by centering, elevating, and amplifying their voices, experiences, and histories. Julián has created platforms and has built relationships and partnerships with similar social justice-focused individuals and communities to advocate for survivors of systems of oppression via print and digital publishing, podcasting, the stage, visual storytelling, research, education, and community building. He has also demonstrated success in holding leadership positions in production, people, and program management; program development; marketing; publishing; and business, research, and cultural institutions.
Julián is the host, writer, interviewer, producer, sound engineer, and editor of The Nasiona Podcast, where he centers, elevates, and amplifies the personal stories of those Othered by systems of oppression and dominant cultures.
You can also find the podcast episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Several episodes have also been co-produced by Aïcha Martine Thiam and Nicole Zelniker.
Original music for episodes 28 through the present was produced by the Grammy Award-winning team of Joe Sparkman and Marcus Allen, aka The Heavyweights. Theme song for episodes 23-27 is “Lat Dior” by Abdoulaye Mboup — a beautiful song by a classic Senegalese artist, lamenting all of the beautiful culture that has been lost through colonization. The theme song for episodes 1-22 is “Into the West,” courtesy of Tan Vampires.
In the media
Creating Community Through Podcasting
Smooth Podcast episode: “Creating Community through Podcasting with Julián Esteban Torres López.” Ever wonder how to produce a podcast from scratch? How to reach an audience that benefits your business? Do you want to build a podcast but don’t know where to start? Julián joins Smooth Podcast host Daniela as to answer those questions using The Nasiona as his example and case study, Julián shares with Daniela the resources, tools, and hacks to creating community via podcasting. This is the first of a 2-part special with Julián.
Creating A Space to be Vulnerable
Smooth Podcast episode: “Creating a Space to be Vulnerable with Julián Esteban Torres López.” This is the second of a 2-part special with Julián. During the conversation he addresses some of the biggest mistakes he’s made and biggest lessons he learned while creating The Nasiona, he identifies some of the biggest life-changing hacks he intentionally employs every day, he openly discusses mental health, and speaks to where he currently is with The Nasiona movement. Julián joins Smooth Podcast host Daniela to answer those questions using The Nasiona as his example and case study, Julián shares with Daniela the resources, tools, and hacks to creating a space to be vulnerable via podcasting.
On the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
A 2011 Al Jazeera On-Air interview where Julián discussed the likelihood of the end of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) after the death of Colombian guerrilla leader Alfonso Cano and whether the FARC had completely divorced itself from its foundational ideology.
Transformation & The Social Constructs of Identity
Poems From My Heart Podcast episode: “Author Interview: Identity and Activism through Poetry.” Dedicated episode profile on Julián where he discussed his new poetry collection Ninety-Two Surgically Enhanced Mannequins, along with an exploration of the social constructs of identity and how to shape our world. Poems From My Heart Podcast with Angela Rideau explores taboos through spoken word.
History of Colonization & the Struggle of Transformation
2AM Burrito Podcast episode: “A History of Colonization & The Struggle of Transformation.” As conflicts continue to arise all over the world between colonizers and the oppressed, filmmaker Luis Martinez of the 2AM Burrito Podcast reached out to Julián to discuss colonization, transformation, some of the ongoing struggles of the Latine community, colorism in the film In the Heights, and Julián’s personal journey.
Find your available means of persuasion As a Writer
Lit Mag Love Podcast episode: “The Nasiona—Persuade with Julián Esteban Torres López.” Dedicated episode profile on Julián, where he discussed his nonfiction storytelling organization The Nasiona, and how with it he amplifies the voices and experiences of the marginalized. Lit Mag Love (rebranded as Write, Publish, and Shine) is a podcast hosted by Rachel Thompson for creative writers who want to publish and which answers the question: What do editors want?
POSTSCRIPT: I do want to point out that, as a writer, I write for myself first and foremost. And, as my friend Jenzo DuQue says, “when I send work out, I’m looking for an editor who sees the potential, who wants to manifest and amplify my vision.” Keep this in mind as you listen, because when I say that you are also writing for the stranger, it’s ultimately that stranger who wants to take you under their wing and amplify YOU, without forcing you into something Other that coddles racists, sexists, xenophobes, and other bigots, because they want your piece to be more marketable. In the discussion, I want you to be aware that your ideal editor has certain evaluative criteria, so how can you find your available means of persuasion to get onto that editor’s radar and have them elevate you? That’s the competition, and that’s what I try to dissect in this interview, from my perspective as the senior founding editor of The Nasiona.
This first volume of The Nasiona’s music series — VOLUME 1: PETRICHOR — encapsulates all the glorious highs and the searing lows of navigating the world as an empathetic, curious individual. The works contained in this volume — from mournful piano compositions, dazzling spoken word, spellbinding vocal layered-songs, to beautiful instrumentals — express the intricacies of being an artist of color in a too-often indifferent world; and like the scent that lingers long after the downpour, these masterpieces ask you to sit awhile, to close your eyes, to pay attention.
Musical artists: SAN PALO • WHITNEY & THE SAYING GOES • MALLIKA VIE • EKI SHOLA • whenthecitysleeps • SAMANTHA PEARL • CHROMIC • ANNAH SIDIGU • TONNY TENNYSON • BEEZY MONTANA • JINNAT • STEPHANIE HENRY
Co-produced by Aïcha Martine Thiam and Julián Esteban Torres López.
The Nasiona Magazine is currently on its 25th issue, Summer 2021. In it, you’ll find hundreds of memoirs and personal essays about being LGBTQIAA+, being mixed-race, being Latina/e/o/x, womanhood and trauma, diaspora and immigration, works on human connection/disconnection, and much more.
Julián Esteban Torres López was the Editor-in-Chief for issues 1-18 and co-Editor-in-Chief (along with Aïcha Martine Thiam) for issues 19-25.
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Julián left his full-time career to create the platform The Nasiona, where he centers, elevates, and amplifies the histories, voices, and experiences of the exploited, marginalized, undervalued, overlooked, silenced, and forgotten. Guided by a social justice compass, he actively works toward dismantling systems of oppression and creating a progressive cultural shift through a podcast, magazine, publishing house, and internship program. Through his work, he intends to humanize the Other and to contribute to building a more equal, equitable, respectful, accountable, dignified, diverse, fair, and just world.
The Nasiona currently focuses on the following story topics: being Latina/o/x, being mixed-race, being BIPOC, LGBTQIAA+, diaspora and immigration, colorism and institutional racism, and womanhood and trauma, as well as stories that glimpse into Othered worlds.
Since 2018, Julián has led and taken The Nasiona to the screens of listeners and readers in more than 140 countries and has reached a consistent audience of 2,500+ unique monthly users. Along with seven books, he’s published 20 magazine issues, which tell the personal stories of hundreds of individuals from around the world. He has also produced 27 podcast episodes, and has 20 more in post-production and 10 in development. He is also in the process of publishing four more books for different authors under The Nasiona‘s publishing house.
When people learn The Nasiona isn’t funded and has been able to achieve so much and produce such powerful and valuable content, they are shocked and surprised. If Julián can do all he’s been able to achieve with no funding, imagine what he can do with your financial support.
Creating content, running his internship program, and managing a team of volunteers is costly in terms of time, energy, money, and lost opportunities. For example, it takes Julián over 30 hours to produce one episode of The Nasiona Podcast by himself, since he writes, interviews, hosts, edits, sound engineers, produces, and markets each episode.
To continue to develop new weekly content; to train emerging journalists, writers, editors, podcast producers, and magazine and book publishers; and to innovate ways to center, elevate, and amplify these stories, Julián asks you to consider donating whatever you can either monthly or as a one-time donation. The future of The Nasiona depends on your support. To secure Julián‘s and The Nasiona‘s independence and provide you with free content, please become a patron and donate. As of right now, The Nasiona is predominantly being funded by Julián himself, which is not sustainable.
The Nasiona depends on voluntary contributions from listeners and readers like you. He hopes the value of his work to the community is worth your patronage. If you like what he does, please show this by financially supporting his work through his Ko-Fi donation platform.
Thank you for your support.