German culture brought closer to Macedonian readers

The year of 2019 marks the 270th anniversary of the birth of foremost German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. For that reason, Shared Knowledge collaborated with the Goethe-Institut in Skopje on an initiative to translate content from German Wikipedia with the goal of bringing the German culture closer to the Macedonian readers. The collaboration resulted in activities split into two projects that were carried out in two phases – the first one at the National and University Library in Skopje from March to June under the name WikiLiga, and the second one at the city libraries of Strumica, Bitola, Veles and Kumanovo from September to December under the name WikiStadtklub.

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Wikimedia Product & Technology: Top 5 Themes from Community Conversations

Over the past six months, Wikimedia communities across the globe have been discussing a series of nine topics in order to help shape Wikimedia’s strategy for 2030. Among those topics was Product & Technology, which is of course a major point of interest for our web-based community. Thus, Wikimedians from an incredible variety of backgrounds got to discuss it and share their thoughts, which were gathered by seven Strategy Liaisons, both online and offline.

This Top 5 is an attempt at synthesizing all this feedback into major topic areas and, also, a way to open discussions here for all stakeholders – editors, volunteer developers, staff – to be able to share their views and start a conversation. They reflect the needs of a growing movement, both in terms of broad ideas as well as specific requests for features which all give insight into the overall priorities of the Wikimedia community. Together, these needs are best met by actors from across our movement, including the Wikimedia Foundation, volunteer communities themselves, affiliates, and partners.

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Wikimedia Argentina: Knowledge Equity Calendar

One of the tiles laid by the organization “Barrios x Memoria y Justicia” in the City of Buenos Aires. In this case, in homage to Irene Krichmar and Miguel Ángel Butron, who disappeared in public on 18/6/1976. Maria Isabel Munczek, CC BY-SA 4.0

December 17

Wiki Derechos Humanos (Wiki Human Rights) is a project by Wikimedia Argentina, which was born in 2018 and has been working in collaboration with other Wikimedia chapters in the region since then. It is an Argentinian-made experience in response to generating quality and updated information on Wikipedia on crimes against humanity perpetrated in our country during the last civil-military dictatorship.

The first articles created and improved were related to the Memoria, Verdad y Justicia process. This is did not come about by chance. Argentina was one of the first countries in bringing to trial armed forces members & co-operation actors of the de facto governments that wielded power under the Operation Condor. Thus, the creation of Wiki Human Rights was kind of a natural path.

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Stacy from Toronto: Knowledge Equity Calendar

Indigenous Knowledges Toronto meet-up held at Ryerson University Libraries, January 2019. Smallison, CC BY-SA 4.0

December 16

Much of my work has been working on systemic barriers around access to quality information. Knowledge equity means ensuring access to information in an environment which respects human rights. I would say that adding more content doesn’t equal knowledge equity. I think we have to be really careful not to equate “filling gaps” with equity. 

For example, mass uploads of content doesn’t produce equity if there are things in that content that are harmful in some way (i.e. colonial). And further, we need to consider whether we have the right to someone’s knowledge or a community’s knowledge. Sometimes gaps are intentional and sometimes gaps equal equity. It’s our responsibility to take these issues as central to working toward knowledge equity. And we can do this by involving more people from the communities we intend to serve.

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Houssem from Tunisia: Knowledge Equity Calendar

Talk about LGBT rights in Nigeria during the „Write for Rights“ in Tunis. Sparrow (麻雀), CC BY-SA 4.0

December 15

When you know that many people in this world lived and died thinking they are “ill” and “not normal” because no one provided them with the correct information, or when the information is available for them but they can’t understand it because of language barriers, you know there is no knowledge equity. Also from another side, when people from the “global north” believe in the stereotypes that the media communicates about “the global south”, you know that knowledge inequality exists worldwide and is not a local issue.

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Sherry in the US: Knowledge Equity Calendar

At WikiConference North America, “Wikimedians of the Caribbean” received an award for being the most exciting new affiliate. Sherry (in the middle) waving and expressing excitement. Ruben Rodriguez, CC BY-SA 4.0

December 14

My name is Sherry Antoine, I’m the program director of AfroCROWD. I think among its meanings, Knowledge Equity means equal access and inclusion for all who pursue knowledge and its curation, creation, and presentation. That includes literal access to the technology that makes Wikipedia possible in the most remote areas of the world regardless of background (who you are) or foreground (where you are, what you have).

During my time directing programming of AfroCROWD, which, founded by Alice Backer, has been around since 2015, we have grown from the local New York City area, all over the United States, with organizers in Europe and partners in Africa and the Caribbean. I am also the lead organizer of the new “Wikimedians of the Caribbean User Group”. Forming in late 2018, and becoming a user group in the spring, “Wiki Cari” as we call it, has already presented or held events around the world. In both groups, Wikimedians of the Caribbean as well as AfroCROWD, we are working on making the most of each opportunity to continually expand and connect the Wikimedia community in the world.

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Marc from Catalonia: Knowledge Equity Calendar

Arabic context geolocated articles: 23,007 Arabic Wikipedia Geolocated articles in Arabic speaking countries. Marcmiquel, CC BY-SA 4.0

December 13

My name is Marc Miquel, I work on a project called Wikipedia Cultural Diversity Observatory (WCDO), which is a joint space for researchers and activists to study Wikipedia’s content diversity coverage, discuss the strategic needs and propose solutions to improve it and fight against the knowledge gaps. 

The project wants to explain both the causes of the gaps and to provide a picture of the cultural representation of every language in every place in the world and at the same time, stimulate sharing content across languages. To fight the knowledge gaps, we want to raise awareness by providing different types of resources: datasets, visualizations, and statistics, as well as lists of articles and tools that show the most relevant gaps that need to be bridged.

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Strategical ideas from Arabic Speaking communities – Wikimedia 2030

Community conversations, which took place in parallel with the Wikimedia 2030 Working Groups activities, were the occasion for different communities to provide their views, needs and wishes in relation to the future of our movement. Having worked with the Arabic speaking community, these are the most important points and areas that I collected in different discussions in various channels between March and September 2019. In total, over 50 people from different Arabic speaking countries, and even abroad, mostly men, participated in the discussions.

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Announcing the inaugural members of our new Communications Committee

Communications Committee Meetup at Wikimania 2012
Communications Committee Meetup at Wikimania 2012
Communications Committee Meetup at Wikimania 2012

We are thrilled to announce the inaugural members of the new Wikimedia Foundation Communications Committee have been selected. These eleven community members were chosen from an impressive group of applicants. We carefully reviewed each candidate, and made our final selections based in part on the overall diversity and skillset of the group as a whole.

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Kicking off the conversation – what should a Universal Code of Conduct look like?

Together we have imagined a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. Every single person associated with the Wikimedia movement is committed to this vision. The journey towards this enormous goal is not effortless. 

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