Vancouver actress and writer Carmen Aguirre charms Langara College students with guest lecture

Students Diana Cuellar (left) and Becky Salmon (right) with acclaimed actor and writer Carmen Aguirre. Photo: Patrick Colvin
Students Diana Cuellar (left) and Becky Salmon (right) with acclaimed actor and writer Carmen Aguirre. Photo: Patrick Colvin

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


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