Arles and Area Resistance and Deportation Centre
Charles Barontini Resource Centre
Currently under construction, the centre is not yet open to the public. However, the voluntary organisation behind the project has organised a series of educational activities for school groups, as well as holding cultural events for the general public throughout the year (temporary exhibitions, conferences, film screenings, talks, etc.). ►Direct link to the official website
Founded in 1997, the organisation behind the project to set up an Arles and Area Resistance and Deportation Centre (CRDA) has three aims:
- Promote the research, collection and conservation of any documents concerning the period 1939-45 in the Arles area, and collect personal accounts from Resistance fighters and/or deportees.
- Share local history of the Second World War, through educational activities for school groups and cultural events for the general public.
- Through that history, encourage people to think about the republican values championed by the Resistance: liberty, democracy and human rights.
Made accessible to the young by the very way it is presented, the project of the Arles Area Resistance and Deportation Centre demonstrates a desire to establish a link between past and present, by recalling that democracy should never be taken for granted and citizenship and human rights must be defended everywhere, every day.
The centre’s goal is to encourage people to reflect on the ideologies and ways of thinking that can lead to dictatorship, fascism and the stigmatisation of certain groups.
The future CRDA’s permanent exhibition will be structured around five themes, in addition to an introduction and conclusion: the Vichy regime and occupation; resistance; repression and deportation; liberation; and the legacy of the Resistance.
The CRDA’s collections comprise:
- over 3 000 books, classified by theme;
- archives (pamphlets, posters, administrative reports, extracts of correspondence, etc.) and a photographic collection obtained from private sources, which are concerned with the history of the Second World War in the Arles area (36 communes);
- audiovisual documents (eyewitness accounts, papers, songs, etc.);
- collections of objects relating to daily life (wireless sets, school materials, etc.), the Resistance (underground printers, radio equipment, containers for parachute drops, weapons), occupation (Nazi armbands, German helmets) and the battles of liberation (weapons, clothing, etc.).
Approved by the education ministry, the organisation offers a series of educational activities about the Second World War in the Arles area, for primary, middle and high-school students.
These activities mostly involve a local perspective and use a range of media (living eyewitnesses, collections and archives, guided tours, educational workshops).
The future centre’s cultural programme is already structured around two main events:
- The Journées de la Mémoire. In February and March each year, the organisation puts on a temporary exhibition on the themes of resistance and deportation. This involves carrying out new research into local history, and enriching and developing the organisation’s collections. The ‘Remembrance Days’ are brought to life by a whole series of cultural events (concerts, films, conferences, talks, etc.) for a varied audience, organised in partnership with the town’s different cultural organisations.
- The Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie. Since 2013, in the summer season, the future CRDA’s exhibition spaces have hosted photographic displays on themes relating to peace, freedom and human rights, with the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie.
Espace Frédéric Mistral, 2bis boulevard Emile Combes 13200
04 90 96 52 35
The documentation centre is open on the first Wednesday of every month, 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm, and by arrangement. Educational activities by arrangement, free of charge. Local tourist office: Office de Tourisme d’Arles, Esplanade Charles de Gaulle, Boulevard des Lices - 13200 Arles - Tel.: +33 (0)4 90 18 41 20