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

New Exhibition: (Re)Viewing the Syrian War: Stories from a member of the Red Crescent

Humanitarian aid worker and Project Someone collaborator, Abood Hamad, who was on the ground in war-torn Syria for seven years, has organized the exhibition (Re)Viewing the Syrian War: Stories from a member of the Red Crescent to address misconceptions surrounding the conflict and the country.

This free event will open Thursday, November 28th, from 5 to 7p.m. at the Curating and Public Scholarship Lab, 1400 de Maisonneuve Blvd W., LB 671, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8, and no RSVP is required. The exhibition will run until December 13, 2019.

For more information, please see the Facebook event here:

New Article on Violent Extremism and Former Extremists

A new article by Ryan Scrivens, Vivek Venkatesh, Maxime Bérubé and Tiana Gaudette titled “Combating Violent Extremism: Voices of Former Right-Wing Extremists,” and published in Studies in Conflict Terrorism is now available by clicking here.

New Article on Cyberbullying and Childhood Identity

Credit: Warren Wong/Unsplash

Project Someone is proud to announce the recent publication of “Cyberbullying: Help children build empathy and resilience as their identity develops,” an article by Project Someone team members Sandra Chang-Kredl, Associate Professor in Education at Concordia University and Dan Mamlok, Horizon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Education at Concordia University, on The Conversation.

To read the full article, please click here.

Landscape of Hope – Remixing the MMFA

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

The event includes three distinct workshops on three consecutive days. The first, Senses Remixed, with Ehsan Akbari (Art Education, Concordia University) will feature sensory walks, sense mapping and mobile photography. These activities invite 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. The second, Embodying Resilience, with Olivia Morson and Whitney Slipp (Creative Arts Therapies, Concordia University) explores hope, despair, and resilience as it intersects with the museum’s collection. Participants will be asked to embody and observe resilience with regards to the collections at the MMFA by producing their own form of ‘response art.’ The third and final workshop, Re-imagining MMFA with Julien Younes and Dezy Nair (Communications Studies, Concordia University) aims to recreate the MMFA space through a collaborative remix. Participants are 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.

Via the Plural app developed by Project Someone, attendees will be guided in gathering their impressions of the Museum collections and transforming their media into ephemeral installations addressing themes of hope, despair and resilience. The fourth and final day will include a combined reflection and improvisation with the participation of all attendees.

For more information, please click here.

Vivek Venkatesh Discusses Social Pedagogy and Hate at The Walrus Talks

Photo: Amir Asif

Project SOMEONE Director and UNESCO-PREV co-Chair, Vivek Venkatesh recently spoke at The Walrus Talks Living Better in Toronto, on October 29, 2019.

During his seven-minute talk, Vivek discussed the role of social pedagogy in negotiating and understanding different perspectives, as well as sharing his personal connection to hate and the transformative effect it has had on him.

To listen to the talk please click here.

PVE Through Education Event – UNESCO General Conference

As part of the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference, Project SOMEONE Director and UNESCO-PREV co-Chair, Vivek Venkatesh, will be participating in Challenges and Solutions in the Prevention of Violent Extremism Through Education: Promoting Evidence-Based Activities for Youth Resilience and Engagement.

Organized and moderated by UNESCO, this side event will feature interactive debate among experts and practitioners around ‘effective’ PVE-E activities.

For more information, please click here.