Chileans remember the coup
July 17th, 2023
Almost fifty years ago on September 11, 1973 a military coup took place in Chile, resulting in President Salvador Allende’s assassination and the murder, imprisonment, torture, disappearance and exile of thousands. Many of those exiles made their home in Vancouver and other parts of Canada creating vibrant Latin American communities across the country.
To commemorate the coup and celebrate the arrival of Chileans and all Latin Americans in Vancouver, the Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre (VLACC) will be presenting Remembering the Future, an evening of music, poetry and visual art. This multimedia event is led by writer Carmen Rodríguez (above right, photo by Felipe Fittipaldi) who fills the roles of scriptwriter, narrator, singer and artistic director. The evening will also feature the sixteen-piece musical ensemble SUMALAO led by composer, multi-instrumentalist and director Hugo Guzmán.
WHEN: OCTOBER 15, 2023, 7:30 PM.
WHERE: ORPHEUM THEATRE, 601 SMITHE ST, VANCOUVER.
Ticket sale details to be announced.
Author Carmen Rodríguez came to Canada from Chile as a political exile following the August Pinochet military coup in 1973. In her writing, she explores place, language and the emotional terrain of dual geographies.
Rooted in historical events, Rodríguez‘s most recent novel Atacama (Fernwood Press, 2021), tells the story of Manuel Garay, the son of a communist miner/union leader and an anarchist organizer of working-class women, and Lucía Céspedes, the daughter of a fascist army officer and a socialite. A fateful turn of events leads to twelve-year-old Lucía befriending twelve-year-old Manuel, inextricably connecting them to a common denominator: Lucía’s adoring father and the perpetrator of the heinous crimes that have caused both children immeasurable suffering. Manuel and Lucía forge a friendship that grows as they come of age and realize that their lives are not only linked by Ernesto Céspedes’ actions, but also by a deep understanding of the other’s emotional predicaments, their commitment to social justice and their belief in the power of writing and art. Set in the first half of the twentieth century, but resonating with today’s changing times, Atacama covers themes related to class, gender, trauma, survival and the role of art in society.
Rodríguez has taught Latin American Literature in translation at Simon Fraser University. She served on The Writers’ Union of Canada’s National Council and acted as Chair or Co-Chair of the Union’s Racial Minority Writers Committee and Social Justice Taskforce. In addition to her work as a Vancouver correspondent for Radio Canada International since 1990, she was a founding member of the bilingual (Spanish-English) Latin American women’s magazine Aquelarre, a quarterly published in Vancouver between 1988 and 1997.
Rodríguez has also dedicated a great part of her life to the field of education. She has taught adult literacy and popular education in a variety of settings, in addition to an array of subjects in the field of education itself: literacy instruction, ESL instruction, curriculum development, multicultural education and others.