As we face disunity and disintegration across Europe, driven by the growing migrant crisis, the need for organisations such as Relais de la Mémoire has never been stronger. Relais works to engage young people in exploring the past as a means of building a better future for all.

Active since 2001, Relais attendees have been privileged to have had the opportunity of engaging with first hand accounts of witnesses to some of the most horrific events of the Second World War. The death on 7th November 2015 of Yvette Farnoux, one of the original founders of Relais, brought clearly into focus the need to preserve these valuable witness accounts and find ways to make them more widely available in a context of relevancy to young people.

Shortly before his death Abel Farnoux, Yvette’s husband, who instigated the establishment of Relais, proposed a strategic plan for the organisation which included a vision that Relais meeting attendees reflect on what they had learned and consider the impact of these lessons in their daily lives. He hoped that they in turn would act as agents for Relais within their own schools, sharing their newly acquired wisdom with their fellow students, families and wider communities and, in doing so, awaken the conscience of others.

Crucial to the achievement of the goals of Relais’ founders is the availability of suitable tools to allow it to achieve its objectives. Secure Base is currently supporting Relais in the creation of an active Internet presence which will allow it to:

  • improve its visibility and credibility
  • reach and impact an ever-wider audience;
  • provide a focal point for cultivating an active network of participants;
  • prompt the collation and preservation of its priceless archive of materials so that this can be made more widely available into perpetuity and used to encourage positive action and change amongst young people.

A key feature in creating an identity for Relais, both through the Website and in other communications, is its logo. To date Relais has adopted the logo of its parent organization, Mémoire des Déportés et des Résistants d’Europe. The power and stark beauty of this logo is unquestioned and this image will continue to be attached to Relais’ growing archive of witness accounts. Mindful of the need to reach young people, and prompted by their appetite to engage more deeply, it was felt that a new logo which portrayed the positivity in Relais’ slogan, “Memory Builds the Future”, might be more enticing as a central identifying feature. Accordingly, Secure Base launched a Logo Design Challenge in the twelve member schools following the Autumn Relais meeting held in Norden, Germany.

The clear winning entry, chosen by member schools, was designed by Murray Warburton, a student of Dame Allans School in Newcastle upon Tyne. Murray is currently working directly with Secure Base to develop his design into a usable logo for adoption by Relais in all of its activities. We look forward to sharing the final design with you in the coming months.


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