For many reasons, coverage of African topics on many Wikimedia sites, including the various Wikipedias, lags behind other continents. One project is aiming to change that by encouraging people on the African continent to donate their images, videos, and audio to Wikipedia.
Florence Devouard (Anthere) and Isla Haddow-Flood (Islahaddow) are the organizers of Wiki Loves Africa, a program that uses competitive and thematic aspects to entice individuals to donate to the Wikimedia Commons. “We needed a fun way to show how rich, different, and delicious Africa is beyond the depressing headlines,” they said. They mean “delicious” literally—last year’s theme was cuisine. They were able to obtain over 6000 images from 873 participants in 49 countries, including the stunning photo above of a Sudanese woman making the traditional and popular kisra bread.
Wiki Loves Africa’s theme changes every year to cover a universal, visually rich, and culturally specific topic like markets, rites of passage, festivals, public art, and urbanity. 2015’s iteration focuses on cultural fashions from across the African continent. Florence and Isla note that “entrants can submit media that represents fashion as defined by local cultural influences which can be determined by cloth, styles, ways of wrapping and hanging, etc. This theme also includes adornment like culturally-influenced jewelry, make-up, hairstyles, body markings, cloths and woven materials.”
The contest runs through the end of November, and the top prize is a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4. Entries are accepted from all over the world as long as they demonstrate some aspect of Africa’s diverse cultural fashions, and you can participate by:
- Jumping right in and uploading your photographs to the Wikimedia Commons
- Getting training and advice from Wikimedian teams located in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Uganda
- Reading tips on how to take better photographs (French language)
Find out more
- The official international site
- The Facebook page
- Follow us on twitter
- Wiki Loves Africa’s 2014 winners
Earth: The winners of the 2015 Wiki Loves Earth contest have been announced. The third place winner can be seen above.
Monuments: The This Month in GLAM newsletter reports that Italy’s Wiki Loves Monuments was a rousing success: 947 participants who took 12,740 photographs of 5,149 monuments—a generic term used for places of cultural heritage that exist all over the world. These results were obtained in part through cooperating with hundreds of public institutions at the state and local levels. The winning photos from Germany and Pakistan have been published as well.
Quarterly report: The WMF’s report for the first quarter of the 2015–16 fiscal year has been published.
Quarterly reviews: Last quarter’s quarterly reviews of WMF departments have been published. These reviews aim to “ensure accountability and create an opportunity for course corrections and resourcing adjustments in consultation with a team working on a specific Wikimedia Foundation initiative.”
Wiki Ed: The Wiki Education Foundation’s September report has been published. The foundation has 74 instructors this term, the most ever, with 133 courses and over 2000 students.
Ed Erhart, Editorial Associate, Wikimedia Foundation
Welcome to your new community digest! This is a new weekly feature for the blog, and we would like to invite you to take part. This digest of Wikimedian community news will pull together items from around the globe to provide a venue for your updates and a diverse roundup of events. It aims to emulate and supplement already-existing community news outlets. Contributions are welcome! If your Wikimedia community has a milestone, cool new project, or quirky occurrence, please send me an email or drop a message at my talk page.