We would like to inform you about having provided a solidarity cash register for the purpose of aquiring premises for our association, which constitutes a lasting space independent of all institutions and organisations. This is a call for donations (financial, property, material) to build a locality which regroups our archive funds and serves as a working place easily accessible for public expression.
The CRAS (Research Centre for the Social Alternative) is a gathering of independent activists and volunteers created in 1979. Currently domiciliated in Toulouse, it preserves a documentory memory of social struggles (student, working class, ecological, feminist, anti-prison, antimilitarist...) and emancipatory ideas and practices. These archives deal especially with the Toulouse region, but also with France and archives on an international level ; it stretches from the period of the 1940s to the present day. It is a collection that can be made available for current struggles.
Over the years we enriched our archives with a lot of documents thanks especially to contributions of personal collections from engaged activists within social movements : scripts, journals, booklets, leaflets, posters, photos, files, books... All in all tens of meters in a set of shelves... Besides, the CRAS is at the same time an occasional publishing house of works and booklets, it takes part in gatherings on social movements and attends every year quite a number of bookfairs.
These archives provide regularly basic information for historical and political publications (dissertations, books, films, expositions...). Activists, militants and students doing research, artists, producers, historians or just simply curious people can find here their scources which we try very hart to transmit. We’re in constant exchange with other archive and documentation centres that might help users or complete our collections. The CRAS is affiliated to the FICEDL (Fédération internationale des centre d’études et de documentation libertaire ; International federation of centres for anarchist studies and documentation).
This collection of social history is important and unique, it is part of our common cultural heritage. Thus, our association is of real public interest.
In 2001 we lost our old premises after the explosion of the chemical factory AZF. In 2005, still without premises, we signed a contract with the town of Toulouse. We could deposit a part of our collection within the municipal archives. But our polyvalent kind of associate functioning isn’t compatible with the prerogatives and constraints of institutions. Their bureaucratic severity makes our access to documents complicated.
In december 2008 our association asked town administrators to a call for bids in order to assign premises for us. Town representatives allowed us a reduced space of 5 square meters, completely insufficient. During the following six years we repeated our demand, without any result. In 2014, after municipal elections, we reiterated our request to the new municipal majority. Up to this day, we don’t have any positive response.
Nowadays, still without premises, our archives are in danger and need our comprehensive attention. The current dispersal of the collection makes preservation, treatment, transmission and serious administration difficult. We never really wanted to invest into random stocking solutions (like illegal squatting, precarious accomodation, expensive localities).
Until now, the financial independence of our association seems to provide the best guarantee for preserving the archives and keeping them useful. It is not an easy task to look after our collection. In the face of such a difficult project we decided to make a call for donations in order to aquire premises that could host our activities : the collection of documents, the library, a working-space and administrations office. The last thing to do is to realise our effort.
The realisation of the project depends on both, financial and physical support of all of you. -*This participation relys on priniciples of solidarity and voluntary contributions.
To provide more visibility we created in 2013 an internet website : http://cras31.info/ . You can look there for more information and in order to follow the progress of our local project.