Canadian Media Report on Recent Study by Project Someone on Former Right-Wing Extremists

Photo Credit: Concordia University

CBC News’s Jonathan Montpetit recently reported on new research on the process of radicalization from the optic of former right-wing extremists.

Co-authored by Project Someone Director, Vivek Venkatesh, and collaborators Maxime Bérubé, Ryan Scrivens and Tiana Gaudette, the study examines the pathways in and out of violent extremism and highlights the important role that “credible” former right-wing extremists can play in helping others exit the movement.

Their results were published in two articles in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism and Perspective on Terrorism.

To access the CBC News Story please click here.

Concordia University, CTV News, Journal Métro and CJAD 800 have also covered this research project that you can access by clicking on the links below:

Concordia News Story

CTV Interview with Vivek Venkatesh

Journal Métro Story

CJAD 800 Interview with Vivek Venkatesh


Project Someone to Speak at Youth Resilience Conference in Toronto

Project Someone post-doctoral fellow, Danny Mamlok, will be a guest speaker on the Media Panel at the 4th Annual Youth Resilience Conference “Call to Action: Approaches to build Youth Resilience and Prevent Radicalization to Violence” on February 18–19, 2020 at the University of Toronto. 

Organized by Midaynta Community Services, the conference aims to build resiliency against violent radicalization and extremism by opening “a dialogue with other organizations, community service providers and parents about safety concerns and vulnerabilities of youth to recruitment of extremist groups.”

The event will take place from 8:30 to 5:00 p.m. at The Moot Room, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, 78 Queens Park, Toronto, ON, M5S 2C5.

New Research Publication on Technology and Academic Motivation

Martin Lalonde, Project Someone collaborator and researcher and professor of the School of Visual and Media Arts at UQAM, studies the effect of mobile digital technologies on young people’s academic motivation. He collaborated with Juan Carlos Castro, Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Art Education at Concordia University, on the MonCoin research project, as well as subsequent components, the results of which were recently published in the volume Mobile Media In and Outside of the Art Classroom.

To read more about this project, please click here.

You can also listen to the Les effrontées podcast with Geneviève Petersen on QUB radio where she speaks with Martin Lalonde about the project.

New Publication on Eschatology in Light of Recent US-Iran Events

Dr. André Gagné, Project Someone collaborator and Concordia University Associate professor in the Department of Theological Studies, recently published a new article about eschatology in relation to the recent events between the US and Iran in The Conversation.

In his article titled “Attaque contre Soleimani : un signe de « la fin des temps » selon des évangéliques américains” [Attack against Soleimani : A Sign of “the End Times” according to American Evangelicals,” Dr. Gagné argues that some evangelicals in the US have interpreted the killing of the Iranian General as a prophecy pointing to the end times. Gagné cautions that the current US President is probably influenced by members of the evangelical community who promote this eschatological belief.

To read the full article please click here.

Wecome, Méi-Ra St-Laurent PhD

Dr. Méi-Ra St-Laurent joins the Project Someone team at Concordia University as part of her SSHRC-funded postdoctoral fellowship, where she will work with Dr. Vivek Venkatesh. Her postdoctoral project focuses on the increasing concern about the use of inclusive discourse (so-called “political correctness”) in the North American context of popular music, where she will draw connections with the circulation of hate speech in public spaces.

As a trained musician (classical singing and piano), Méi-Ra holds a PhD in musicology from l’Université Laval (Québec). Her doctoral thesis entitled “Métal noir québécois: l’analyse du récit identitaire d’une communauté black metal marginale” focuses on a community of black metal groups from Québec, in which she draws links between music, texts and the discourses emanating from them. In doing so, she analyzes the way in which members and groups share their identity and reconfigure it by adapting the ideological and aesthetic codes of black metal to Québec history and culture. Previously, her master’s thesis focused on the analysis of narrative in extreme metal music, where she studied how music and lyrics form a unique narrative, often transgressive in scope. She has also published several articles in different academic journals (Metal Music Studies, Journal on the Art of Record Production or Intersections : revue canadienne de musique) and presented her work at several international conferences (Art of Record Production Conference, International Association for the Study of Popular Music, International Society for Metal Music Studies).

Méi-Ra’s work is part of an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach, where she utilizes different concepts and methods (stemming from musicology, ethnomusicology, sociology, political sciences, cultural studies as well as literary studies). By doing so, her aim is to better understand the way in which the music emanating from a society at a given time reflects the social and political stakes that characterize it.


Blekkmetal Screening at Premiers Plans d’Angers Film Festival


Blekkmetal, an independent Canadian-Norwegian concert documentary about the one-off music, film, tattoo and art festival held in Bergen, Norway in November 2015, has been selected to screen at the Premiers Plans d’Angers 32nd European First Film Festival from January 17 to 26, 2020, in Angers, France.

Directed by Concordia University alumnus David Hall and co-produced by David Hall, Concordia university’s Owen Chapman, University of Alberta’s Jason Wallin and Project Someone Director and Concordia University’s Vivek Venkatesh, Blekkmetal will be screened non-competitively on January 22, under the music and cinema category, followed by a panel discussion about extreme metal.

The original motion picture soundtrack to the film was recorded by multimedia collective Landscape of Hate (co-founded by Chapman and Venkatesh) and is available on all streaming services.


To view the Blekkmetal trailer, click here.

For more information about Blekkmetal, click here

To listen to the Blekkmetal soundtrack, click here.

To view the Festival Facebook event, click here.

To view the Festival program, click here.

New Article on Violent Extremism and Former Extremists

“Converging Patterns in Pathways in and out of Violent Extremism: Insights from Former Canadian Right-Wing Extremists” is a new article by Maxime Bérubé, Ryan Scrivens, Vivek Venkatesh, and Tiana Gaudette, published in Perspectives on Terrorism (Volume 13, Issue 6).

Here is the abstract:

“In recent years, research on pathways in and out of violent extremism has grown at a staggering rate. Yet much of what is known about these oftentimes “mysterious” processes does not necessarily shed light on the specific aspects of right-wing extremism, and especially not from a Canadian perspective. In an effort to bridge this gap, we use a life-course criminology approach to draw from the voices of former extremists to gain insights into their respective trajectories in and out of violent extremism. A total of 10 life course interviews were conducted with former Canadian members of violent right-wing extremist groups. Analyses of these data suggest that even if there is no single trajectory in and out of violent extremism, there are still converging patterns such as the attraction for common pull factors and a profound dedication to the right-wing cause. Our analyses also demonstrate that the emotional toll of leaving the movement is often characterized by exhaustion, isolation and regrets.”

To access the full article, please click here.

Canadian Delegation at the Euro-Mediterranean Seminar for the Engagement of Youth and Women Against Extreme Violence and Radicalization

L-R: Dr. Abdelwahed Mekki-Berrada (Université Laval), Dr. Vivek Venkatesh (Concordia University, Chaire UNESCO-PREV), Rawda Harb (Concordia University, Chaire UNESCO-PREV)

The UNESCO Chair in the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Extremism collaborated with Network Practicies H2020, l’Université Toulouse II Jean Jaurès, l’Association des militants des savoirs and l’Université de Mohamed V, among others, to organize a Euro-Mediterranean Seminar for the Engagement of Youth and Women Against Extreme Violence and Radicalization, that took place from December 12 to 13, 2019, in Rabat, Morocco.

The Canadian delegation included Dr. Abdelwahed Mekki-Berrada from Université de Laval, Dr. Vivek Venkatesh from Concordia University, and UNESCO-PREV co-Chair, and Concordia University doctoral student and UNESCO-PREV researcher, Rawda Harb. The above participated in round table discussions as well as offering workshops on youth engagement.

The aim of this two-day seminar was to bring together scientific experts from Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean, political decision makers from the cities and countries involved, professionals, as well as the economic actors. This meeting’s three objectives were to produce a database of skills and experts in prevention; to build consensus and dissensus regarding social prevention for youth and women (development, education, gender balance, fighting against radicalization, citizenship, equal opportunities, employability, etc.) and to produce a scientific action plan and operational recommendations for the Euro-Mediterranean area.

Project Someone at the Arab World Heritage Young Professionals Forum

Project Someone collaborator, Jihan Rabah, recently returned from the Arab World Heritage Young Professionals Forum entitled “Empowering youth to build peace through the protection and preservation of heritage” in Tunis, Tunisia from December 2–6, 2019, where she offered engaging and informative sessions on PVE, hate speech, and online extremism.

Organized by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in collaboration with the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), this event aimed to empower Arab youth and encourage dialogue and peace-building through a variety of workshops, round tables and innovative methodologies.

For more information on this event, please click here.

Danse en ligne Project

Photo: Dominic Morissette

By Marie-Pierre Labrie

Project Someone is engaged in a partnership with centre Turbine, a creative centre that combines art and pedagogy for its Danse en ligne project, with teenagers from Un itinéraire pour tous, an organization based in Montreal North. Led by artists Marie-Pierre Labrie and Sara Hanley, the project proposes the co-design of social media through creative missions where teenagers are invited to respond with multimedia content (photos, video, sounds, texts).

The initiative critically addresses the use of mobile and social media by transforming it into an artistic creation opportunity. The mobile phone becomes a laboratory of daily creation that contains the tools necessary for participants to express their ideas. Workshops feature an embodied approach that leads youth to sensibly reflect on their multimedia productions while diverting the usual modes of online interaction. With Project Someone’s support, the team chose to create an online platform independent of commercial social networking services .

The project is being completed this fall and a second phase is planned for spring 2020. A performance at La maison culturelle et communautaire de Montréal-Nord in June 2020 will feature the results of the artistic explorations in public space.

For more information, please visit the Facebook page


Un itinéraire pour tous

Project Someone

Bibliothèque de la maison culturelle et communautaire de Montréal-Nord