Cassettes from Exile
A box of cassettes opens up a window on Dennis Maxwell's childhood.
Produced by Dennis Maxwell for Radio Ambulante (7th February 2017)

For much of Dennis Maxwell’s childhood, his father was living in exile, communicating with the family via cassette tapes. A few years ago Dennis went to Chile and helped his brother move. Among moving boxes they found around 20 cassettes. So Dennis listened to them again, and discovered that the story of his father and the impact of exile was even more complicated and fraught than he’d remembered.

Los Cassettes del Exilio is among the winners of the 2017 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. You can hear all of the winners here .

The editors were Camila Segura, Silvia Viñas and Daniel Alarcón; sound design by Désirée Bayonet; music composed by Ramtin Arablouei and the English translation was made by Patrick Moseley.

Dennis Maxwell was born in Santiago, Chile, and ‘grew up dreaming about persecutions and sounds of shrapnel’. When he was a boy he was given a camera, and at that moment began to dedicate himself to capturing images. He travelled to California, studied film and later stumbled upon radio. His work has been featured in outlets such as the New York Times Op-Docs, the KQED ‘Spark’ series, Providencia Film Festival (Chile), Festival International Global Bogotá (Colombia), BBC Mundo, Radio Ambulante, and Public Radio International’s The World.

Radio Ambulante is a Spanish-language podcast, distributed by NPR, that tells Latin American stories from anywhere Spanish is spoken, including the United States. They seek to bring the aesthetic of high-quality longform journalism to radio. They work with a talented community of storytellers and radio producers from different corners of the continent, while taking advantage of technology to produce, distribute and exchange stories. In 2014, Radio Ambulante was awarded the Gabriel García Márquez Prize for Innovation in Journalism, the most prestigious journalism honor in Latin America.