Half a million people fled Spain after the fall of Barcelona to the Franco dictatorship in 1939. Known as the Retirada, whose 80th anniversary was commemorated in 2019, this exodus marked the history and culture of the Pyrénées-Orientales region in France.
Populations fleeing conflicts, persecution or misery, with their great diversity of causes, remain a sad constant in history. A network of community radios in the Occitane region – Radio FM+, Tadio Lenga d’oc, Jazzin and l’Eko des garrigues – have given the floor to descendants of refugees, writers, intellectuals, artists, association leaders and also to people who have risked their lives to reach France, sometimes on makeshift boats. By crossing these voices and expertise, they have tried to understand the exoduses of today that echo the 1939 Retirada. You can listen to the radio documentary (in French) here.