AR – Resistance Residency, France

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Artists at Risk (AR)-Provence is located at the Villa Chêne Vert in the south of France, in the countryside between Toulon and Marseille on the Mediterranean littoral. What we call the “Resistance Residency” upholds the memory of the European resistance against the Nazi occupation of Europe, and in particular, the memory of the “indomitable » Lisa Fittko, as the New York Times called her.

Lisa Fittko is an important figure of the European resistance, known for her tireless efforts in fighting fascism. Her clandestine anti-Nazi activity stretched from the time of the rise of Hitler in Berlin, through organising in Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Holland and France, and most famously, smuggling over 100 exiles wanted by the Gestapo across the Pyrenees to Spain. In the south of France, she worked in close coordination with the renowned American Emergency Rescue organised by Varian Fry.

Fittko is perhaps best know for guiding the philosopher Walter Benjamin on his last journey across the Pyrenees out of Nazi controlled Europe, before his untimely passing. She tells of this in her first book, Escape through the Pyrenees, which won the prominent « Political Book of the Year » for its first German edition, among other prizes. It has been published and republished in many European and also non-European languages.

The Artists at Risk-« Resistance Residency » is intended for art practitioners whose dissident work or activism relates to the historical resistance to Nazism, the history of anti-fascism or to  representatives of this tradition from all over the world in the present day.

AR-Residents are co-hosted by Artists at Risk (AR) in partnership AR-Marseille.