As in 2016, also in 2017 we organised the Brussels writing weeks to get a better coverage of the city of Brussels and its region on Wikipedia. Earlier we noticed that other capitals from other countries are much better described than the Belgian capital, and to avoid a Belgium gap (like the gender gap) to grow any further, specific attention is needed for this area.
In 2016 we organised various sessions in libraries, and this was the plan for the 2017 edition as well. As preparation for these sessions we organised a Wikipedia training for library staff, to get them familiar with Wikipedia and to give them an understanding what comes with writing an article in Wikipedia.
The 2017 edition of the Brussels writing weeks started at 22 April and ended at 6 May 2017. During the first week we organised six walk-in sessions in libraries in Brussels and the Royal Flemish Theatre where interested people could walk in, ask questions, and work on articles. Two of these six sessions (in Royal Flemish Theatre with guided tour and Muntpunt) had the format of an edit-a-thon and with a special focus: dance. Brussels is considered to be the capital of the dance in the world with a rich culture, but this is terrible covered nor described on Wikipedia. A big gap for what extra focus is needed to have it not grown as large as the gender gap.
On 20 April Wikimedia Belgium together with Wikimedia Nederland supported in Antwerp a workshop about Wikimedia and the performing arts, under the flag of the Nederlandse Taalunie (Dutch Language Union). The goal of the Dutch Language Union is to enlarge the Dutch language visibility online and make cultural heritage more available and exchangeable. One of the main subjects the workshop focussed on were the performing arts.
Civic Lab Brussels start
On 25 April 2017 we had our first Civic Lab Brussels meeting. Civic Lab Brussels is an action-oriented group for those interested in creating solutions for local communities, mainly through technology. During our biweekly open gatherings (all backgrounds welcome) we work on civic projects, get feedback from tech and government experts and learn about civic innovation and related concepts like open data, civic hacking and open government.
On Tuesday 27 April 2017 we organised an edit-a-thon together with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) in their University Library. First we gave an introduction in Wikipedia, Wikimedia and how to edit. Then the participants started to edit Wikipedia. The focus of the edit-a-thon was on Leuven, the university and monuments.