Project Save and MIT take teens back to the future

Watertown TAB & Press, MA
Aug 19 2005

Project Save and MIT take teens back to the future
Friday, August 19, 2005

Project Save Armenian Photograph Archives Inc. and the MIT Media Lab
recently collaborated to develop a new online multimedia storytelling
software that brings history into the future. In July, eight Armenian
students attended a two-week workshop during which they created
their own unique family histories using the new software at MIT,
and borrowing vintage photographs and oral histories from Project
Save Archives.

Project Save Archives, celebrating its 30th anniversary this fall,
was originally contacted by MIT Media Lab Program Manager Jacqueline
Karaaslanian, who recognized a connection between the new software,
called Confectionery, and the treasure trove of storytelling
ingredients that is Project Save Archives. The software’s creator,
Aisling Kelliher, a PhD candidate at MIT, was intrigued by this
wonderful source and the opportunity to further test and improve
her creation. With this product, ordinary people will be able to tell
their life and family stories on the Web using multiple forms of media,
including photographs, voice recordings, music, video and text.

Eight students from neighboring towns were selected to participate
in the collaboration: Araz Havan, Clarke Middle School, Lexington;
Lillit Der Kevorkian, Diamond Middle School, Lexington; Tariq Atiyat,
Watertown High School, Watertown; Shushan Martirosyan, Watertown Middle
School, Watertown; Shavarsh Martirosyan, Watertown Middle School,
Watertown; Grigor Martirosyan, Watertown Middle School, Watertown;
Mkrtich Martirosyan, Watertown Middle School, Watertown; and Garin
Parseghian, Belmont Middle School, Belmont.

Each of these students created his or her unique story using various
media, such as photographs, movies, text and music. The students
especially enjoyed creating with Confectionery because the photos and
the histories were of their own families. Each story was less than
a minute in length, which presented a challenge in terms of editing
and adjusting in such a small time frame. At the showing on the last
day of the workshop, however, the students’ success was evident.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, Project Save Archives will be showing some of
these heartwarming, and sometimes heartbreaking, stories at their
30th Anniversary Celebration at the Newton Marriott Hotel. This
event is open to the public, and will feature live Armenian music
and dancing, a grand photo exhibit, a silent auction and, of course,
lots of great food.