From January to April 2019, Afek Ben Chahed, Wikimedian from Tunisia, accompanied us in organizing the Wikimedia Summit 2019, a conference where all Wikimedia organizations and groups gathered to discuss the ongoing Wikimedia Movement Strategy Process. Afek joined us as a so-called “Visiting Wikimedian”, which is an annual program where Wikimedia Deutschland invites Wikimedians from other Wikimedia organizations to work and learn with us to be able to apply these learnings later back home.
Cornelius, Program Coordiantor of the Wikimedia Summit, interviewed Afek on her stay in Berlin.
The late 19th century was the golden age of Scandinavian painting. Among the most famous were the Skagen painters: mainly Danish artists gathered in Skagen in northern Denmark, drawn by the summer light. They painted local fishermen, the scenery and – famously – themselves. It’s a very human and endearing trait. We create our tribes and we celebrate them. We want our fleeting connections memorialized. See the category Wikimedia conventions on Commons: its subcategories have thousands of photos of maybe questionable educational value. But they depict us. Not as disconnected individuals but in the context of our tribe of information gatherers and knowledge disseminators. To us, that has a value.
In all areas and branches, strategy is an important aspect to be taken into consideration for the continuity and sustainability of an organization. The Wikimedia movement is not an exception, and the 2030 Strategy process is aimed at this goal. However, our movement has still its unique elements in comparison with other structures. One important particularity is its geographical spreading across the globe, and through various cultures and contexts.
In August, the Wikimedia Foundation announced a partnership with UN Human Rights to improve coverage of human rights related topics on Wikimedia projects. We are excited to announce our first activity for the partnership: A campaign called #WikiForHumanRights that will run from November 15-January 30! We’re inviting affiliates, individual volunteers, and anyone that might be interested to join us in the campaign to improve and add knowledge about human rights on Wikipedia across languages.
Everything started on a rainy day in the airport. Rain poured us and the propeller of the plane started moving while Ingrid Bergman… well. It wasn’t that way.
It was a sunny day in sunny Valencia. It was April and we were celebrating the Internet Freedom Festival, an event held yearly in my city. It wasn’t Ingrid Bergman or Humphrey Bogart, but Liang, Board member of Wikimedia Taiwan and Strategy Liaison for the Mandarin-speaking community, who I found there. He was the first person from my team that I met. He was coming to Valencia with more members of Wikimedia Taiwan to talk about Chinese Wikipedia and also about censorship. It was a good experience to train myself in my new role as Strategy Liaison for the Spanish-speaking community and also arranging the first Strategy Salon I was going to see: some festival attendants and some local Wikimedians had arranged a meeting to talk about the future of our movement.
Earlier this year, the Education Team at the Wikimedia Foundation issued a call–tell us how you want to use Wikimedia projects to promote education in your local community, and we’ll help you do it. 15 teams bravely stepped forward with ideas ranging from improving students digital skills in Bangladesh to engaging students to help close language gaps in Uganda. We selected one successful project to fully support both with mentorship, on-site help, and some seed funding1: The Technology and Green Mentorship program in Ghana, now known as Growing Open and Eco-friendly Skills for Youth in Ghana (GOES). We call this initiative the Wikimedia & Education Greenhouse, where the Education Team at the Wikimedia Foundation helps innovative ideas grow into high impact projects.
Whether if November brings you falling stars or falling leaves, you’ll be surrounded by numerous Wikimedia events from around the world – or maybe even in your own back yard. Here’s a collection of events from the Wikimedia Space calendar. Did we miss any? Add your events to the calendar, and leave a comment with suggestions!
Earlier this year Wikimedia Commons hosted the annual Wiki Loves Africa photo contest. This contest, hosted yearly since 2014, seeks to “visually celebrate the richness, diversity, and beauty of Africa”. Each year the contest asks photographers to focus around a theme. This year it was “Play!”. The contest resulted in 8,879 image uploads to Commons. A panel of photographic experts from around the world reviewed the submissions and picked their top five.
Wikimedia Space reached out to the first place winner, Marco Gualazzini to ask him a few questions on his experiences as a photographer, his thoughts about the contest, and sharing his work freely with the world.
Each year people from around the world join the #1Lib1Ref initiative to make small but meaningful contributions to Wikipedia.
The Wikipedia community has developed a core strategy to ensure the quality of information in its articles: including footnotes to reliable sources to allow readers to “verify” the information. The 1Lib1Ref campaign calls on contributors to add just one footnote to help improve the verifiability of Wikipedia. In addition, this campaign introduces new editors to the projects via a simple entry point.