Ed Fornieles: Cel
21 March – 20 April 2019


17 April 2019, 7pm
Male Identity, the Alt-Right and Violent Extremism – Panel Discussion

Through anonymous forums, the surge of far-right ideologies has propagated fascist ideals of masculinity, gender norms and sexuality and has bred outbursts of misogyny, anti-feminism, homophobia, transphobia, racism, and hyper-nationalism. These digital influences, which started with pop-psychology, neo-reactionary image-boards, forums, blogs and social media have had devastating and violent consequences such as the recent attacks on two mosques in New Zealand. Difficult questions continue to emerge as to why individuals are attracted to these narratives in the first place.

The panel will discuss these themes, looking specifically at how current ideas of patriarchal masculinity are feeding into these groups, their ideas and their actions. It will further contemplate actions that may be taken to prevent the continuation of such violence.

Amir Massoumian is currently an anthropology PhD candidate at SOAS University, researching the far-right in London. Following on from his previous thesis "We want our country back": attitudes towards immigration in London pubs, his recent work focuses on more extreme factions, particularly on notions of identity. He has a background in psychology and has experience as a mental health worker both for the NHS and suicide prevention call-centres.

Jacob Davey is a Research Manager at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue where he leads on research into the far-right. His research focuses on the role of digital communication in inter-communal conflict, internet culture, online hate speech and the international far-right. In addition to this he has led a number of projects piloting novel models for identifying extremist conversation online as well as interventions to counter this phenomenon. He has advised national and local policymakers on right-wing extremism, including the Home Affairs Select Committee, and has lead trainings with frontline practitioners on the mobilisation strategies of extremist groups. He has provided commentary on extremism-related issues in a number of platforms including The Guardian, The Independent, and The BBC, and also sits as a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right.

Julia Ebner is a Research Fellow at the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), specialising in far-right extremism, reciprocal radicalisation and European terrorism prevention initiatives. She is the author of the bestselling book The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far-Right Extremism as well as several peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and policy briefings. On the basis of her research, Julia advises parliamentary working groups, frontline workers and tech firms, speaks at international conferences and delivers workshops in schools and universities. She regularly writes for the Guardian and the Independent and gives interviews in English, German and French on the BBC, CNN, ZDF, ARD, France24, Al Jazeera, LBC and others. Before joining ISD, Julia worked as a Senior Researcher at the counter-extremism organisation Quilliam, where she led research projects on terrorism prevention for the European Commission and the Kofi Annan Foundation and gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on far-right extremism.