A young Armenian-American animator and radio-podcast host is developing a free iPhone App dedicated to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The “Armenian Monument” app, produced by the 30-year-old creator and host of Raw Radio, Alex Nisanian, will be the first complete iPhone app on Genocide recognition. Having designed all the graphics necessary for the app, Nisanian is now looking for public support and grassroots funding to help develop the app for free distribution.
His project recently won the support of Kickstarter.com, the largest online funding platform for creative projects, which has published a dedicated fundraising page for the app here.
According to Nisanian, the app will have four basic components: The default page will feature an animated rendition of the eternal flame at the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial in Armenia, with a contemporary beat produced by DJ Bei-Ru using duduk samples. There will also be a history section, covering the 1915-1923 Armenian Genocide, as well as a list of countries that have recognized the crime as genocide. A latest News section will provide app users with breaking developments on Genocide recognition efforts worldwide and give users the ability to share the stories on their social networks. Users of the app can also take action on pressing issues in a call-to-action section.
Nisanian describes the app as more than just a tool to inform and educate. “It is designed to promote action from the community,” he said. “When pressing issues regarding politics arise, there will be a ‘Call to Action’ feature allowing users to locate and contact their local congressman, while the ‘Latest News’ section will allow users the ability to submit stories themselves, allowing every citizen to be an active journalist.”
The project is an ambitious one, but Nisanian, who has already produced three apps for the iPhone, says it’s possible and necessary.
“I always thought that if an iPhone app on the Genocide was to be available, it should be a free community service that Armenians can be proud of,” he said. “Instead of waiting for one, I decided to start it myself.”
But to keep it free, he needs to cover the costs of the application’s development. A motion graphic artist by trade, Nisanian has managed to cut expenses by creating all the images and background content for the app himself. However, he must still pay $75/hour for a software developer to create the app.
This is where Kickstarter comes into play, he explains. “Through this service I can collect dozens of micro-donations from Armenians around the world, making this project possible.”
The ‘Armenian Monument’ Kickstarter fund-drive ends on February 27, giving him less than a month to raise the $3,500 needed to finance the app, which he hopes to launch by April 24. People who donate to ‘Armenian Monument’ on Kickstarter will receive rewards such as commemorative shirts, stickers, and recognition as a contributor within the app and on its blog.
Nisanian says he wants the project to be an open and collaborative effort that engages and benefits the entire Armenian community. “I’m open to suggestions for features, as well for news sources to feature in the ‘Latest News’ section,” he said. The app’s news feed is published on ArmenianMonument.com.
Nisanian’s other iPhone app projects are showcased here.