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INDIGEMOJI

2019

 

Werte! Emoji nhenhe-areye arrwekele anthurre Australia-kenhe. Tyerretye Arrernte-areye itnenhe mpwareke, Arrernte-kenhe apmerenge. Tyerretye anwernekenhe-arle itnenhe-areye mpwareke. Arrernte ilyernpenye-areye help-eme-ileme angkentye arratyele arrernetyeke.

Indigemoji is Australia’s first sticker set of First Nations emojis made by young people in Central Australia - featuring faces, roo tails, troopies, plants, animals and local hand signals, now available in both the App Store and Google Play.

Steered by Arrernte linguists and elders, Joel Liddle Perrule, Veronica Dobson Perrurle and Kathleen Wallace Kemarre, each emoji has an Arrernte name, the ancient but endangered language of Mparntwe/Alice Springs. It enables a new means of communicating on digital platforms using signs and signifiers from Arrernte culture and language - a small but significant step towards improving the representation and inclusion of the many diverse cultures and languages of Australia in digital technologies.

 

Developed during the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the 90 emoji designs were designed by at-risk young people at the Alice Springs Public Library. Over seven weeks of workshops, 960 young people participated - drawing, designing, making, experimenting and discussing language. Many had never used an iPad before.

 

I was the lead graphic designer and digital mentor on the project, with Phillip McCormack, Emma Stubbs and Colleen Powell, thanks to support from inDigiMOB, a digital inclusion partnership between First Nations Media Australia and Telstra.

The Indigemoji app was launched on 22 November 2019 with a BBQ at Alice Spring Public Library and Indigemoji Disco at Brown Street Youth Drop-in Centre. It was the number one social networking app in the App Store upon its release and was downloaded 40,000 times in its first week.

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Awards
 

2020 Honoree, Public Service & Activism, Webby Award 

2020 Honorary Mention, Digital Communities, Prix Ars Electronica

2020 Best Digital Product, First Nations Media Awards