News

Project Someone Welcomes Jessie Beier and Léa Clermont-Dion

The Project Someone team warmly welcomes Dr. Jessie Beier, who will be joining us as a Horizon postdoctoral fellow, and Dr. Léa Clermont-Dion, who will be joining us as a research associate at the postdoctoral level. Jessie and Léa will both be working with Dr. Owen Chapman and Dr. Vivek Venkatesh on the Landscape of Hope project. Below, please find more information about Jessie and Léa and the work they plan to do during their time with Project Someone.

 

Jessie Beier is a teacher, artist, writer, and conjurer of strange pedagogies for unthought futures. She recently completed a PhD at the University of Alberta in the Department of Secondary Education with a SSHRC-funded project titled Pedagogy at the End of the World: Weird Pedagogies for Unthought Educational Futures. As a Horizon postdoctoral fellow, Jessie will be co-leading activities related to the Landscape of Hope research-creation project, including working with co-conspirators and partners to develop and deliver programming. She will also be jamming with participants and artists on the team to create new artistic outputs and performances, and sharing what emerges in these experiments through publications, workshops and other public events.

In her own words, Jessie says: “I am looking forward to continuing my current research during my time at Concordia, which seeks to conjure what I call a ‘weird pedagogy,’ by bringing together my background in research-creation, radical pedagogy and speculative philosophy in order to examine the potentials, but also challenges, of creating ‘landscapes of hope’ — both in the flesh and online — amidst today’s increasingly unliveable convergence of crises.”

 

 

Léa Clermont-Dion is a new postdoctoral research associate at Landscape of Hope. She holds a PhD in political science from Université Laval and is a Vanier scholar. Her research focuses on online power dynamics and social networks as a tool for empowerment, cyberviolence and feminist studies. In addition to her academic research, Léa is an active documentary filmmaker who anchors her creation in a sociological field approach. Her next feature-length documentary, Backlash: Online Misogyny in the Digital Age, codirected with Guylaine Maroist, will be shown in theaters and on Radio-Canada and the Documentary Channel in 2022.

Léa says: “My project, Je t’écoute, is a podcast that aims to give youth from marginalized communities a voice through Project Someone’s Landscape of Hope project. Je t’écoute seeks to share technical knowledge of digital tools to empower youth. In addition to this creative project, I will also conduct research on the use of social media by youth as a process of reappropriation.”

Project Someone director, Vivek Venkatesh, is a guest on the Lac-à-L’Épaule podcast, hosted by Charles-Olivier Roy

Project Someone director Vivek Venkatesh was recently a guest on Charles-Olivier Roy’s new podcast, Lac-à-L’Épaule, funded by the FQRSC. The Lac-à-L’Épaule podcast was created to promote discussion between guests and present audacious propositions on ways to improve Quebec socially. Along with Roy and fellow guest, urban planner and proponent of collaborative and civic innovation Jimmy Paquet Cormier, Venkatesh discusses the mission of Project Someone and various projects under its umbrella. Venkatesh, Cormier and Roy also engage in a lively and thought-provoking discussion about the value of social innovation, the importance of pluralism, and drawing from utopias and dystopias to build a positive future.

You can give the episode a listen on Spotify, Anchor, and Apple podcasts.Please note, the podcast is only available in French.

Upcoming webinar on Landscape of Hope guidebook

Landscape of Hope guidebook webinar promotional posterThe Landscape of Hope team is hosting an upcoming webinar on evaluating community arts-based projects. The webinar will be offered bilingually––first in English on November 22nd (6pm) and then in French on November 24th (5 pm).

This past September, Landscape of Hope team members Emma June Huebner and Ashley S. Montgomery put together a guidebook to evaluating art-driven and resilience-based initiatives like their own, based on criteria developed by the Anti-Racism Action Program (ARAP).

While the evaluation guidebook is intended to support Landscape of Hope researchers and partners in measuring the success and effectiveness of their work, it will serve as a practical tool to any organization or researcher undertaking similar work at the intersection of social justice, education and the arts.

To register for the webinar, please email the Project Someone team.

Upcoming Diffractions panel at MMFA’s PRISME lab

Emma and Vivek for Diffractions

Project Someone director Vivek Venkatesh and Emma June Huebner are set to present at an upcoming webinar titled La technologie au service de l’artiste (“Technology at the Service of the Artist”), presented as part of the Diffractions panel series hosted by the PRISME lab of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. PRISME is the museum’s digital mediation and innovation laboratory, which seeks to develop, explore and integrate digital tools in an art educational context. The talk takes place on November 12th, 2021 from 12 to 1:30 pm.

Venkatesh and Huebner, an MA candidate in art education, artist, and secondary teacher of digital arts, will discuss Project Someone’s digital initiatives like Landscape of Hope. They will be in the company of digital artists Jean-Ambroise Vesac and Lise Deville.

Register for the webinar (FR). 

Director Vivek Venkatesh discusses socially-engaged research Concordia’s 4th Space


CSLP director Vivek Venkatesh recently participated in a roundtable discussion at Concordia’s 4th Space on the “blurry lines” of conducting socially-engaged research. Organized by Geneviève Grégoire-Labrecque as part of her week-long residency as a 2021/22 Public Scholar, Venkatesh joined the latter, alongside Jennifer Danquah and Kathleen Manion, to unpack the “roles, privileges, boundaries, benefits, dilemmas and challenges of being an ‘engaged’ scholar”––that is, a scholar that aims to advance social justice through their work.

Le Devoir features Project Someone director Vivek Venkatesh in video on systemic racism

Project Someone director Vivek Venkatesh was recently interviewed by Le Devoir about systemic racism. Venkatesh dives into the concept in an Oct. 19 video titled Le Racisme Systémique sous la loupe de Vivek Venkatesh. 

Venkatesh defines the concept in question as “an ensemble of factors propagated by our public institutions which exacerbate social inequalities and manifest in the ways individuals from minority communities are treated.” 

While this seems straightforward enough, Venkatesh highlights how such a concept can be engaged with from a variety of epistemological positions. It’s much easier, he says, to point to the results of an individual racist act than to showcase the insidious effects of systemic racism empirically, which could leave devout empiricists confused or even suspicious about the “invisible nature” of systemic racism.

The key, according to Venkatesh, is to be aware of such diverging ways of engaging with a concept and to challenge oneself to approach it in different ways.

Watch the interview below.

Fonds de Recherche du Québec showcases Project Someone

The Fonds de Recherche du Québec (FRQ) – Société et Culture recently spotlighted Project Someone in an Oct. 5th feature story titled “Reducing discrimination, one performance at a time.”

The story highlights the output of the strategic cluster formed by the CSLP, the UNESCO-PREV Chair and Project Someone since the inception of the latter in 2014, foregrounding the unique multidisciplinary and artistic elements of initiatives like Landscape of Hope.

With regard to Project Someone’s global reach, the FRQ concludes that “through its work that goes far beyond traditional academic channels, the Project Someone team is showcasing the voices of educators and students from around the world and increasing their resilience and tolerance towards hate speech, both online and offline.”

Read the story.

Learn more about our projects.

Project Someone relaunches “From Hate to Hope” online course

Project Someone, in partnership with the UNESCO Chair for the Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism, is relaunching our/its massive open online course (MOOC) “From Hate to Hope: Building Understanding and Resilience.” The free, non-credit online course aims to prevent hate and radicalization by facilitating public education and providing tangible strategies to build resilience. 

Following a successful first launch in the spring of 2020, the Project Someone team has evaluated and updated the course to be offered this fall. The course will run bilingually in French and English for this iteration, from November 1st to December 10th, 2021. 

Learn more and register for the course here. 

The course is primarily asynchronous and can be done at your own pace, with the exception of 3 exciting live sessions (held on Fridays) facilitated by Project Someone director Vivek Venkatesh and Dr. Nykkie Lugosi-Schimpf. These sessions provide an opportunity for participants to come together, unpack some of the themes, and pose questions to facilitators.

Designed with different community stakeholders in mind, this MOOC starts with the essentials, like the distinction between hate speech and free speech, and moves on to hot topics like fake news, filter bubbles and recruitment tactics used by hate groups––all of which are analyzed with pertinent, real-life examples.

In the following video, our experts define hate.


More importantly, tangible approaches to prevention, resilience and advocacy, online and offline, are presented as participants are invited to make a difference in their own sectors. Each module offers a wealth of varied, current and actionable knowledge, exchanges with peers, as well as interactive exercises using the hashtag #EspoirAmalHope.

Register for the course.

Director Vivek Venkatesh to speak at Amnistie Internationale Canada webinar on anti-racist educational initiatives in Quebec

Image: Amnistie Internationale

CSLP director Vivek Venkatesh is set to speak at an October 7 webinar hosted by Amnistie Internationale Canada on anti-racist educational intiatives in Quebec. At 6 pm, Venkatesh will join Ismaël Seck, an activist and teacher in school adjustment at the Commission scolaire de Montreal, as well as a representative of Mikana, an Indigenous non-profit educational initiative, for a roundtable discussion.

Amnistie Internationale Canada is the Canadian Francophone branch of Amnesty International, a citizen-led global movement for human rights. 

 

Read about the event (FR).

Register for the event. 

Director Vivek Venkatesh and Dr. Ryan Scrivens to speak at Norwegian seminar on terrorism and technology

Scrivens and Venkatesh

Director Vivek Venkatesh, alongside Ryan Scrivens, former Project Someone postdoc and Assistant professor at Michigan State’s School of Criminal Justice, will be speaking at an upcoming seminar on the topic of terrorism and technology, organized by the Consortium for Research on Terrorism and International Crime at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. 

The seminar, titled What role does technology play in violent extremism and terrorism?, takes place this Wednesday, September 29th. Speakers will discuss the Internet as a key facilitator of violent extremism, in response to a recent report by the Global Network on Extremism & Technology. Venkatesh and Scrivens will present their findings on interviews they conducted with former Canadian right-wing extremists about their use of the Internet and the interrelation between their on- and offline worlds. 

More information.

Watch a recording of this event below: