The State Russian Museum has launched a project to develop a mobile app that will provide a video guide for the deaf and those with some level of hearing loss. The State Russian Museum is the world’s largest collection of Russian art and is housed in a unique architectural complex in the historical center of St Petersburg. The app, which uses sign language, will make it possible for people with a hearing impairment, to independently explore the museum’s exposition. The first version of the video guide will be available in December of 2017 and will include four excursion paths.
Development of the video guide is a part of the charity program “Do you hear me?” This program is supported by companies in St. Petersburg, famous actors, musicians and scientists, as well as the Russian deaf community and staff with the cinema dictionary project “I see the meaning”. Rinat Umyarov, curator of the charity program “Do you hear me?” shared his thoughts about the project: “This is a new type of fundraising project for Russia. Many companies from different markets have decided to combine their expertise and knowledge to solve the challenges associated with this project. The project is so large it can only be completed with everyone working together.”
First Line Software is the technology partner for the project and will develop the mobile app for this video guide for free. By downloading the app, users will access an interactive map of the museum’s exhibits along with a video guide which uses sign language to communicate the exhibit details. The app will be available for both Android and iOS devices. “Development of the first version of the app is just the beginning”, was what Alexander Pozdnyakov, CEO of First Line Software had this to say about the project. “We plan to use our relationships with universities and students enrolled in programming courses, to orchestrate a huge brainstorming initiative around the theme of developing this app.”
There is also a fundraising module inside the mobile app. Money that is donated will be spent on hiring professional actors who are sign language interpreters to make the video guide. It will cost 1 million rubles to produce the video guide. The project team hopes to collect funds when patrons dine at one of the restaurants in the “Dve palochki” (means chopsticks) sushi restaurant chain. In April, menus for the “Dve palochki” restaurant locations in Moscow and St. Petersburg will feature their “Victory over the sun” dessert. For each guest who orders this dessert, “Dve palochki” will donate 100 rubles to the project.
Vladimir Gusev, head of the Russian State Museum, is so pleased about this endeavor. “I am sure that together we will create this video guide using sign language before the end of this year. The guide will make details about The Mikhailovsky Palace and its main masterpieces accessible to individuals who are deaf or have some level of hearing loss.”
To learn more about the Video Guide, watch this video intro which is less than three minutes in length:
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The State Russian Museum is the world’s largest collection of Russian art, housed in a unique architectural complex in the historical center of St Petersburg.
It was the first museum of Russian art, initiated by Emperor Alexander III. Later, in 1895, Emperor Nicholas II signed a decree ordering “The foundation of a special establishment named ‘The Russian Museum of Emperor Alexander III’ and the assignment of Mikhailovsky Palace with all its outbuildings, services and the garden, specially acquired by the state treasury for this purpose”. In May of same year architect Svinyin started reconstruction of the palace interiors for accommodating future collections of art.
The museum collection contains over 400,000 exhibits covering all major periods and trends in the history of Russian art, all main types and genres, trends and schools of Russian art over more than a thousand years: from the X to the XXI century.
Today, the area of the museum complex is more than 30 hectares. The collection is accommodated in buildings that are outstanding monuments of the XVIII-XIX century architecture: Mikhailovsky, Stroganov, Marble Palaces, and Mikhailovsky Castle. Mikhailovsky Garden, Summer Garden and Peter I’s Summer Palace as well as the Cabin of Peter the Great are also part of the museum complex.