Landscape of Hope

Landscape of Hope is a unique, sample-based remixing project that magnifies youth narratives as they pertain to building resilience against racism, discrimination, prejudice and cyber bullying.

The digital art initiative is youth-led and designed to empower them with critical digital literacy skills and social media tools to create cutting-edge multimedia performances and installations that describe their experiences with hate, discrimination and cyber bullying. Our aim is to implement and evaluate a sustainable, multi-sectoral, culturally-relevant, youth-led approach to creating media-based narratives that accurately reflect youths’ lived experiences, with the ultimate objective of reducing instances of discrimination.

We are currently funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ), Canadian Heritage, and the Michaëlle Jean Foundation. 

Credit: Dezy Nair

Landscape of Hope is inspired by and derived from the work of the multimedia collective Landscape of Hate.

In this 9-minute video, members and participants explain the concept and experience of Landscape of Hope.

The Landscape of Hope team has put together a guidebook for evaluating art-driven and resilience-based initiatives. While the guide is intended to support researchers and partners of the project in measuring the progress and effectiveness of their work, it will serve as a practical tool to any organization undertaking similar work at the intersection of social justice, education and the arts.

Download the guidebook.

This 55-minute webinar, recorded in English on November 22nd, 2021, describes evaluating art-driven and resilience-based initiatives based on the guidebook.

The Landscape of Hope logo, created by David Hall, is a take on the universal symbol for wifi. The two hand-drawn lines and ink splat for the traditional circle represent artistic creation, and the project’s ethos of using art and the creation of art amongst young people to help counter online harassment, bullying and hate. The barbed wire line represents this online hate, however the two hand-drawn bars safely protect the user – art protects us and creates a safe space – from online bullying.

The shape of the overall logo, starting at the bottom, gradually expands and gets bigger – not only does this respect the original symbol, and its meaning of wifi signal spreading outwards – but this represents the ripple effect ones actions, behaviour and language have online. They can often start small, and grow exponentially.

Ultimately, this logo will be seen as a fusion of mobility, online presence, creativity, and protection.

Events

Landscape of Hope – 4th Space, November 2020

In November 2020, the Landscape of Hope collective conducted a COVID-safe artists residency at the 4th Space at Concordia University in Montreal / Tiohtià:ke. Below are videos of the final performance as well as interviews with the musicians and visual artists.

Over the period of over a week, the team collaborated in creating soundscapes and visual representations of resilience in a COVID-era.

In attendance were Landscape of Hope creators Vivek Venkatesh and Owen Chapman, collaborators Martin Lelonde (UQAM) and Annabelle Brault. Concordia students were Nik Forrest, Éva Roy and Lou Raskin. UQAM students were Marilou Lyonnais Archambault and Michel Poulin.

Concordia student, Nakitta Hannah documented the event and it was organised by Kathryn Urbaniak. The residency was funded by Canadian Heritage and the FRQSC, and made possible thanks to The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies (OVPRGS) and the 4th Space.

Watch the Performance

 

Landscape of Hope – Centre Turbine, October 2020

To mark twenty years of dedication to creative pedagogy, Centre Turbine held a Study Day dedicated to Art and Current Pedagogies on November 9-10, 2020.

 

On November 10 at 2:00 PM, The Landscape of Hope collective’s Vivek Venkatesh and Martin Lalonde took part in a round table discussion about pedagogy as artistic practice.

Watch the video here:

Held in collaboration with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the two-day live-streamed event brought together people from various fields to explore the relationship between pedagogy and art.

Landscape of Hope – Radiant Power, October 2020

The Landscape of Hope collective will be offering a two-part online panel and workshop titled Collective Reflection. Improvisation. Transformation. Social Pedagogy, as part of the online program, Radiant Power in conjunction with the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery.

 

The panel took place on Tuesday, October 20, from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM via Zoom. 

The workshop took place on October 27 from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM, also on Zoom.

For more information, please click here.

Examples of sound maps.

 

Landscape of Hope – MTL Connect, October 2020

Landscape of Hope participated in Printemps Numerique’s  <MTL> Connect on October 13, 2020.

 

This event featured a performance and installation, followed by a panel discussion with Landscape of Hope’s musicians, visual artists, and creative members, including Concordia University’s Vivek Venkatesh, Sandra Chang-Kredl, Owen Chapman, Annabelle Brault, and UQAM’s Martin Lalonde.

 

Landscape of Hope – Remixing the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Collection, November 2019

Concordia University graduate students in drama therapy, visual arts and sound studies were inviting to experience and reinterpret the museum collection through sense mapping, response art, sound collecting and remixing workshops that ran from Tuesday November 19 to Friday November 22, 2019.

The event included three distinct workshops run on three consecutive days. Attendees were guided in collecting their impressions – via the Plural app developed by Project Someone – of the Museum collections and transforming their media into ephemeral installations addressing themes of hope, despair and resilience. The fourth and final day included a combined reflection and improvisation with all attendees.

Owen Chapman, Julien Younes, Ehsan Akbari, Whitney Slipp, Olivia Morson, Vivek Venkatesh, Dezy Nair, Annabelle Brault, Sandra Chang-Kredl. Photo Credit: Kathryn Urbaniak

Senses Remixed
Workshop 1 with Ehsan Akbari (Art Education, Concordia University)
Participants revisited the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) collection with sensory walks, sense mapping and mobile photography. These activities invited participants to observe, notice and interpret the spaces of the museum and to learn from and about each other by sharing images, maps and observations.

Embodying Resilience
Workshop 2 with Olivia Morson and Whitney Slipp (Creative Arts Therapies, Concordia University)
This workshop explored hope, despair, and resilience as it intersects with the museum’s collection. Participants were asked to embody and observe resilience in response to the collections at the MMFA by producing their own form of ‘response art’. Participants created masks (physical and virtual) to try to gain a deeper understanding of what these themes mean as a collective and as individuals.

Re-imagining MMFA
Workshop 3 with Julien Younes and Dezy Nair (Communications Studies, Concordia University)
This interactive workshop aimed to recreate the MMFA space through a collaborative remix. Participants were invited to explore the exhibits around the museum with a conscious ear, and collect sounds using iPhones or recorders with the intent of manipulating them afterwards with various pieces of gear.

Landscape of Hope – Theology in the city, October 2019

As part of the 2019 Theology in the City Conference at Concordia University, Landscape of Hope held a musical and multimedia performance at St-Jax Church on October 31, 2019.

Theology in the City is a free week-long conference hosted by the Department of Theological Studies explores the themes of resilience, hope, suspicion and fear through a multidisciplinary lens.

In the weeks prior to the performance Landscape of Hope invited Concordia Art Education and Theology students to co-create multimedia material with students from l’École des arts visuels et médiatiques de l’Université du Québec à Montréal for a special theologically themed performance. Professors Vivek Venkatesh (Concordia) and Martin Lalonde (UQAM), and research assistants Léah Snider (Art Education, Concordia), Éva Roy (Art Education, Concordia) and Dezaye Nair (Media Studies, Concordia)  facilitated a digital arts workshop introducing students to theological questions and enabling them to contribute to Landscape of Hope’s growing body of digital materials surrounding the way in which we address the concepts of hate and hope in postmodern society.

Here is a short documentary in French and English on the Theology in the City event.

Landscape of Hope – Montreal, February, 2019

The Landscape of Hope team, in partnership with Project Someone, Grimposium, and Unesco chair-prev, held its Canadian premiere on February 20, 2019. The show was held at Concordia University, at the 4th Space (1400 De Maisonneuve Ouest).

Here is a recording of the full-length performance.

The Montreal performance recording includes samples contributed by Anna Hains-Lucht, Anne-Sophie Robitaille, Despina Caravias, Dezaye Nair, Eleanor Hart, Elise Ross-Nadie, Emilie Depelteau, Fina Murphy-Glderman, Jihane Mossalim, Karen Tannous, Mario Perron, Miranda Bray, Nicola Morry, Nik Forrest, Shekky Tween, Taylor Lewis, Train Chakrabarti, Viola Chen.

Landscape of Hate – Heavy Montreal (July 2019)

Our research and creative teams tackle the challenges of hate speech head-on through the use of public, participative pedagogy projects with community collaborators. One such project, Landscape of Hate, a sister project of Landscape of Hope, uses a framework of multimedia improvisation with the objective of promoting and favouring the public voice in framing pluralistic dialogues about how we negotiate various forms of hate in our society. In July of 2019, members of Landscape of Hate and their friends in celebrated American extreme metal band Pig Destroyer worked with youth collaborators from various Montreal communities to create sonic and visual media that described their emotional engagement with terms such as hate, anger, and sorrow. You can watch a mini-documentary about this workshop which was held at the margins of the Heavy Montreal music festival here:

Landscape of Hope – Iceland, July 2019

Landscape of Hope (Vivek Venkatesh and Owen Chapman) performed with Bardspec at the Eistnaflug 2019 festival in Neskaupstaður, Iceland in July 2019. The Eistnaflug 2019 performance was the first live collaboration between BardSpec and Landscape of Hope. BardSpec is the ambient project from Enslaved composer/guitarist Ivar Bjørnson.  Canadian filmmaker David Hall (Uneasy Sleeper) who runs live visuals for Bardspec and is a visual designer for Landscape of Hope – contributed his unique brand of provocative and thought-provoking films at the event.

Credit: Ásgeir Þrastarson

Also at Eistnaflug, Grimposium, in partnership with Project Someone, and Enslaved auctioned some unique posters – which had been signed by all the members of Enslaved – during the festival. The proceedings were donated to local Icelandic initiatives that promote community resilience to discrimination.

In September 2017, Project Someone, Grimposium and Enslaved teamed up in Québec City, Canada for the one-off NordiQC festival – a celebration of Bergen-based music, culture, tattoo and visual art. As part of the public engagement activities at NordiQC, Vivek Venkatesh and Enslaved founders Ivar Bjørnson and Kjetil Grutle teamed up with Québec-based visual artist Filip Ivanović to create a video reclaiming runic narratives from right-wing extremists. Bjørnson and Grutle drew out 24 Runic symbols on Ivanović’s NordiQC posters, explained the meaning of each of these symbols, and talked about how these symbols were being misappropriated by extremist groups to promote racist ideals.

Landscape of Hope – Tromsø, November 2018

The inaugural performance of Landscape of Hope by Vivek Venkatesh and Owen Chapman was held on November 7 2018 in Tromsø, Norway alongside collaborators at Arctic PrideTVIBIT and Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum. Prior to the performance, there was an interactive workshop on digital art for young people between 17 to 24 years old on November 5.

Credit: Alessandro Belleli

The Tromsø performance recording includes samples contributed by Giulia Troisi DanieLa Toma, Eeke Brussee, Maïa Zayani, Valentin Caball, Yosief Yohannes, Benedikt Jahning, Louis Munk Klarup, Nejc Nadbath, and Cheshtaa Chitkara.

Listen to the performance here:

Podcasts

Episode 2 of the Landscape of Hope podcast episode is now available

How does sound making provide an embodied way of knowing and feeling? In what ways can sounds express feeling and how does this become reinterpreted by listeners? Landscape of Hope explores some of these possibilities as they relate to discourses of hope and hate, but rarely do we discuss the residual effects of their media creations.

After all, making music with experimental sounds is a dialogue. This episode invites Landscape of Hope collaborators Angus Tarnawsky, Caitlin Chan, Piper Curtis, and Devon Bate to channel their reactions toward hate (as expressed in Landscape of Hope recordings) into new creations. Their improvised jams become sites of exploration into their own unique choices as creators. In this process, each collaborator provides context around their approach to sound making. The usual Landscape of Hope dialog is turned inside out as its creative output now becomes the source for further criticism and inspiration for new creative interventions.

Originally produced June 2021
Written, edited, and presented by Lou Raskin
With contributions from Angus Tarnawsky, Caitlin Chan, Piper Curtis, and Devon Bate
Special thanks to Owen Chapman, Vivek Venkatesh, and Jessie Beier

Episode 1 of the Landscape of Hope Podcast is now available

How can hate be expressed and reclaimed? How can a performance provide a new form of expressing complicated, even paradoxical feelings related to hate and hope? How is listening connected to feeling?

These questions are layered with no readily available answers. Instead, Landscape of Hope dives into these ideas through mostly-improvised multimedia performances that mix sampling practices with live music, synthesizers, and projections. In order to adapt these critical and creative interventions into a podcast format, the Landscape of Hope podcast team use their reactions to live recordings as a springboard into deeper inquiries relating to the project’s formation. With co-founders Owen Chapman and Vivek Venkatesh, the podcast reflects on the open-ended process of working through and with hate via arts- and performance-based practices.

Originally produced May 2021

Written, edited, and presented by Lou Raskin

With contributions from Angus Tarnawsky, Caitlin Chan, Piper Curtis, and Devon Bate

Special thanks to Owen Chapman, Vivek Venkatesh, and Jessie Beier

Team

Vivek Venkatesh PhD

Vivek Venkatesh is UNESCO co-Chair in Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism, and Professor of Inclusive Practices in Visual Arts in the Department of Art Education at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University. He is an interdisciplinary and applied learning scientist who investigates the psychological, cultural and cognitive factors impacting the design, development and inclusive adoption of digital media in educational and social contexts.
Owen Chapman PhD

Owen Chapman is a composer, DJ and researcher. His work addresses the place of sound in everyday life. He is an Associate Professor in Sound Production and Scholarship in the department of Communication Studies at Concordia University.  His audio work involves app design, live performance and electronic composition and has been featured internationally in video soundtracks, media workshops, site-specific installations as well as solo and group performances.

Kathryn Urbaniak

Kathryn Urbaniak is Program Manager at Project Someone, Concordia University. She is an experienced research professional and learning experience designer with degrees in Educational technology, Information Technology, and Business.
Sandra Chang-Kredl PhD

Sandra Chang-Kredl is Associate Professor in the Department of Education at Concordia University. She researches teacher identity, children's popular culture, curriculum studies, and cultural studies. 

Annabelle Brault

Annabelle Brault, MA, MTA is a resource-oriented music therapist, musician, researcher and educator. A full-time music therapy lecturer at Concordia University, she is interested in the use of music technology as a creative medium to instill social change.

Martin Lalonde PhD

Martin Lalonde is a professor in Art Education at the School of Visual and Media Arts in Université du Québec à Montréal. His research focuses on the impact of mobile digital technologies on teaching and learning, on the intersection of arts education and social work with at-risk populations, and on informal creative practices in visual and media among young people.

Jason Wallin PhD

Jason Wallin is Professor of Media and Youth Culture Studies in the Department of Secondary Education at the University of Alberta.
Jessie Beier

Jessie Beier is a teacher, artist, writer and conjurer of weird pedagogies for unthought futures. Beier is currently a Horizon Postdoctoral Fellow at Concordia University whose current research-creation practice experiments with developing ecological dissensus and heretical forms of pedagogy aimed at collective practices of negation, refusal and fabulation.
Veronica Mockler

Veronica Mockler is an artist and student researcher at Concordia University. Her work in contemporary art, social pedagogy, oral history, and documentary media redefines how her collaborators are heard vis-à-vis systemic oppression. Her research-creation explores activists’ unscripted listening and speaking as a practice of resilience. Veronica has worked in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Uruguay, the U.S., and Canada.
Leslie Touré Kapo PhD

Leslie Touré Kapo explores the social construction of race and its impact on life trajectories of working-class and immigrant individuals. He has extensive experience in social intervention and education in marginalized urban spaces in both France and Québec. His doctoral thesis—an ethnography on the racialization of Montreal youth—received the INRS Urbanisation Culture Société Research Centre’s prize for best thesis 2020–2021.
Léa Clermont-Dion PhD

Léa Clermont-Dion is a new postdoctoral fellow at Landscape of Hope. She holds a PHD in political science from Université Laval and  is recipient of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Her research focuses on online power dynamics, social networks as a tool for empowerment, cyberviolence and feminist studies.  In addition to her academic research, Léa Clermont-Dion is an active documentary filmmaker who anchors her creation in a sociological field approach.
Emma June Huebner

Emma June Huebner is a high school media arts teacher, a multidisciplinary artist, and a MA candidate in Art Education at Concordia University. Her current research focuses on social media as teaching and learning tools in museums. She also recently co-founded le Festival canadien de cinéma jeunesse | Canadian Youth Film Festival.
Ashley Montgomery

Ashley S. Montgomery is a doctoral student in Education at Concordia University. Her research explores secondary and tertiary preventative frameworks of radical ideologies within education institutions, the evaluation of youth prevention programs, and pedagogical strategies for resilience in at-risk youth. Currently, Montgomery invests her time in local community programs, providing support and tools of evaluation.
Éva Roy

Eva Roy is an MA candidate at Concordia University and a teaching and research assistant in the Art Education faculty. She is currently undertaking research from a pedagogic perspective on a veteran’s self-taught art practice who suffers from PTSD. She has been awarded the Glenn Cross Family Award, Fine Arts Fellowship, Merit Award as well as the Graduate Mobility Award.
Nik Forrest

Nik Forrest is an artist based in Tio’tia:ke (Montreal). Currently a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Humanities program at Concordia, their research combines sound studies, gender studies and creative practice in sound performance and installation. Their work is included in the collections of The National Gallery of Canada, The Saskatchewan Arts Board and Concordia University’s media collection.
Michel Poulin

Michel Poulin is a research assistant, media artist and doctoral student in the Department of Arts Studies and Practices at UQÀM. His research focuses on the educational intervention in digital arts with young people. For several years, he has been interested in educational spaces for collaborative media arts practices as a meeting place, for dialogue and for citizen mobilization.
Lou Raskin

Lou Raskin is a podcaster and graduate student in Concordia University's Media Studies program currently researching how soundscape recording methodologies are used to study biodiversity during the climate crisis.
Angus Tarnawsky

Angus Tarnawsky is an artist, musician, educator, researcher, and PhD student at Concordia University. His doctoral research examines the social and political dimensions of everyday listening practices. Central to this work is the creation and analysis of site-specific sound installations in a variety of urban spaces.
Maxime Brunet

Maxime Brunet is a first year student in the Media Studies MA at Concordia University  Before deciding to return to academia, she worked in the music industry as a live sound engineer and tour manager for over 10 years, working in both venues in Toronto and touring internationally. Her current research interests include women in live sound and COVID-19’s impact on the music industry.
Safia Boufalaas

Safia Boufalaas is a PhD student at the University of Grenoble in France. Her research focuses on visual and media representations of marginalized and transgressive groups, specifically Latin American maras and street gangs. Her thesis aims to highlight the complexity of these groups (through a documentary corpus) from the point of view of identity, gender with a focus on plural masculinities and the place of the body. She is also interested in the impact that these visual representations can have on communities as well as on male individualities.
Mairin Miller

Mairin Miller is a DJ and masters student at Concordia University. Her current research concerns internet-born music subcultures.
Lucas Thow

Lucas Thow is a graduate student in the Media Studies MA program at Concordia University. He completed his BA in English Literature and History at Concordia and has spent several years actively participating in Montreal's electronic music community as an event organizer, DJ and radio show host. His research is primarily focused on the formation, development, and sustainment of electronic music communities around the globe - in particular, how local music communities are affected by migration, file sharing and cross-pollination of region-specific genres and styles of dance music.
Marilou Lyonnais A.

Marilou Lyonnais A. offers a reflective work on the current digital condition through a multidisciplinary approach. Marilou's artistic practice is guided by her anecdotal relationship to the world, referentiality, music, and new technologies. She has applied this approach to her Data Eyes exhibition at the Phi Center, her musical projects (Saudade & HeartEnsemble), and her numerous artistic collaborations exhibited in Montreal's major cultural institutions.
David Hall  

David is an accomplished producer and filmmaker with over two decades of experience; he is also the director of the critically acclaimed concert documentary Blekkmetal.