THE I.E.O. (INSTITUTE OF OCCITAN STUDIES)
It was founded in 1945 at the end of the war, by a group of individuals committed to the preservation of Occitan culture: amongst whom, J. Cassou, René Nelli, Max Rouquette, Tristan Tzara and I. Girard who was the practical founder. The Institute of Occitan Studies has for over half a century been working for the defence and promotion of the Occitan language. Its aim is not to preserve an ancient language in a museum, however prestigious this might seem, but to provide all the inhabitants of Occitany, with the means to tackle the reality of the modern day world, using their historic roots, and the dynamism of creation of the language and culture of their local area.
In practice it involves making a choice between a society which has become rooted in uniformity (and a general sense of mediocrity), and another multiple society open to all cultures, and communication and exchange between all the inhabitants of the planet. The I.E.O. is a federal organization comprising regional and departmental areas and local circles. The Institute is present in various fields for the fulfilment of its objectives: editorial field (literature, pedagogy, periodicals, children’s books….), training, language promotion, holiday centres.
As well as the historically famous founders, its long period of activity also features names such as Félix Castan, Pierre Bec, Robert Lafont, Yves Rouquette, each contributing to a page in the I.E.O. history book.