California Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument Added to IWalk App

Mon, 05/09/2022 - 1:25pm

USC Shoah Foundation has added a tour of the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument in Montebello, California to its IWalk mobile application, making it the first Armenian Genocide site of memory to be featured on the innovative educational platform.

Launched in 2014 and available for IOS and Android devices, the IWalk mobile app provides visitors to locations like the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument with personalized multimedia tours—or IWalks—that feature photographs, maps and testimony from USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive. 

The hour-long IWalk in Montebello details the monument’s key role in preserving the memory of the estimated 1.5 million victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Visitors to the landmark can now watch clips of Armenian American scholar Dr. Richard G. Hovannisian describing its founding and Armenian Genocide survivor Hagop Asadourian speaking about the importance of genocide memory.

USC Shoah Foundation Interim Finci-Viterbi Executive Director Kori Street said the new Armenian IWalk provides visitors with a rich, meaningful learning experience.

“IWalks make history come alive by connecting users with places, images, and testimonies,” Dr. Street said. “We are thrilled to be able to deepen learning about a significant historic site of memory for the Armenian community for everyone who visits this monument.”

In addition to the new IWalk, USC Shoah Foundation has launched several other resources for educators to teach their students about the Armenian Genocide. These include the first Eastern- and Western- Armenian-language content to be featured on IWitness, the Institute’s no-cost educational website that reaches millions of students annually. The inclusion of Western Armenian-language content is significant as it is the main dialect spoken by the Armenian diaspora in the wake of the Genocide. UNESCO declared Western Armenian endangered in 2010.

Sedda Antekelian, Learning and Development Specialist at USC Shoah Foundation for the Armenian Genocide, said the new resources help contextualize the Armenian Genocide and preserve its memory through highlighting the testimonies of those who experienced or witnessed it.

“Students can learn about life before, during, and after the Armenian Genocide, as well as develop the empathy, moral responsibility, and skills to stand up to whatever injustice and prejudice they may experience in their own lives,” she said.

Montebello's Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument was also featured in Discovery Education's 2021's Virtual Field Trip on our joint website.

USC Shoah Foundation’s Armenian activities are rooted in 600 Armenian audio and video testimonies housed in its Visual History Archive. Over 330 of these were recorded between 1972 and 2014 by filmmaker J. Michael Hagopian and the Armenian Film Foundation and 1,040 come from the Richard G. Hovannisian Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection. Dr. Hovannisian's collection, which was recorded by UCLA students between 1972 and 2008, is currently being integrated into the archive.

Students and educators can access clips, activities, and resources to teach the Armenian Genocide on this IWitness page.