Not many students know what it is like to live under the reign of a brutal dictator – let alone take up arms as a revolutionary to fight against one – but honoured Langara alumna Carmen Aguirre does.
On Thursday she shared that experience in a presentation with Langara’s Latin American cultural perspectives class.
Carmen Aguirre, a Studio 58 graduate, is a celebrated theatre artist who has been involved in over twenty plays as well as multiple film and television productions.
Her award winning 2012 memoir, Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter, outlines her experience in the Chilean resistance movement where she fought against the brutal regime of Augusto Pinochet.
Her presentation began with a reading from her memoir.
The section she chose to read centered around words repeated by a fellow resistance fighter during a turbulent train ride through Peru: “any experience is good.”
When asked what those words meant to her, Aguirre replied, “They mean everything happens for a reason, no matter what you go through, you were meant to go through it, and you will learn something from it.”
Students in praise of Aguirre’s book
Students not only learned a great deal from Aguirre’s book, they really enjoyed it.
“I’m from South America myself . . . I love it, I just loved the book,” said student Diana Cuellar.
Cuellar’s classmate Becky Salmon shared a similar sentiment.
“It was fantastic, I just hammered through it,“ said Salmon, adding, “it was so inspiring, it’s weird from reading the book, it was like meeting a movie star.”
Aguirre is currently busy writing a follow up to Something Fierce while continuing to work on television and theatre projects.
Honoured alumna still has soft spot for Langara College
“I’m always very inspired by young people, I feel energized whenever I do a presentation with young people,” said Aguirre.
“I have a soft spot for Langara because I did graduate from here, those were very important years of my life.”
When asked how she would define her experience at Langara, Aguirre replied with a laugh, “earth shattering.”
Reported by Patrick Colvin