Joseph Cardenas

Discipline/Field: Creative Nonfiction

Based in: Los Angeles

About: Joseph Cardenas is a musician/writer and the owner of Radio Tirado. The son of migrants, he has lived all over the U.S. gathering the experiences of different people and cultures, which ultimately led him to writing concerned with the personal histories of his father, uncle, and grandfather. At Yefe Nof he intends to complete work that is steeped in the oral tradition and closely connected to theories of language and revolution.

Project Title: Viva Tirado dissects and takes a close look at masculinity, nationalism, and racism as they exist in the U.S., but also, specifically, within Cardenas’ own family. It is framed by the story of his cousin’s quinceñera in the summer of 2017. As his family comes together for the celebrations, Cardenas begins to realize how events that took place before he was born shaped the man he is today. During the week-long festivities, he explores his family’s relationship to important historical figures and events: gang violence of the ‘90s, the Iraq War, Timothy McVeigh, Ramona Bañuelos, and José Alfredo Jiménez.

Relevant links: Instagram, @radiotirado;