Ax-les-Thermes: High School students rewarded in the Senate for their work in the field of colonization

Taking second place in the national competition on the history of colonization, three students from the Mario-Beulaygue College received their prizes in the Senate.

Students from the third grade of the Mario-Beulaygue College took part in the national competition on the history of colonization and the Algerian war, the first edition of which took place in 2023, launched by the Association of History and Geography Teachers.

Together with their French teacher Sara Caldirola, they ranked second in the “Collective University Work” category thanks to the analysis of the “Large Collective Anti-Fascist Painting” painted by a handful of artists who opposed the French-led war in Algeria. The primary school won the special jury prize for its participation.

Invited to the Senate to receive their prize, they went to Paris on March 18 in memory of March 19, 1962, the date of the ceasefire, to attend the ceremony that took place in the Clémenceau Hall of the Palais du Luxembourg. They were received by Rachid Témal, president of the Amitié France-Algérie group, and specialists in colonial history such as Benjamin Stora, Raphaëlle Branche and Trémor Quémeneur, all three presidents of the competition organized by journalist Rachid Arhab.

The work carried out in the classroom was the subject of a book, “The Tear: The Ariège and the Algerian War,” published last June. They worked for five months in French lessons, analyzing archives, writing texts…

Three students in the Senate

The students discovered the context of the work together and then in groups. Everyone chose a part of this immense painting, wrote an individual presentation and then shared it to get a complete study of the painting.

Proud to go to this place full of history, the three selected students, Lise Boncour, Willy Roux and Enzo Sicre, were very impressed to enter the Senate and take their place in the meeting room. Realizing how lucky they were, they paid close attention to the other students who could not attend.

Ms. Caldirola and Mr. Andréo, French and History teachers, accompanied them: “We are extremely proud of the quality of the work accomplished by our students, which has also been recognized at national level by historians specialized in the Algerian War. We are aware that we are advancing history by talking about colonization and the Algerian war. We wish this competition a long life,” they concluded.

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