The winning picture of Wiki Loves Monuments 2021 was taken inside the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading, a cultural institution located in Rio de Janeiro. Elected the fourth most beautiful library in the world by Time Magazine, this Neo-Manueline style building was designed by the Portuguese architect Rafael da Silva e Castro and built between 1880 and 1887. The winning picture shows the reading room where part of the largest Portuguese collection outside Portugal is available for consultation: around 300,000 volumes of national and foreign works. It is the first time an image from Brazil wins the global Wikimedia competition.
The photographer is Donatas Dabravolskas, who is originally from Lithuania and has lived in Brazil since 2013. According to him, in a recent interview:
This place is located at a fifteen-minute walking distance from my house. By chance I saw some pictures on social media, some bloggers posts, etc. I thought: what a nice place! So I looked for its location because I wanted to get there and take some pics. And when I realized it was near my house, I thought to myself: I have to go there!
The WLM winning photo was taken in 2018. Donatas went there many times because he wanted to “capture everything that was possible from that place”, as he said. So the 2021 WLM list was published and he had no doubt: “when I saw this library on the list of monuments for the contest, I decided to send them all. I sent several photos of this monument [to Wikimedia Commons]”.
After the announcement of the result of WLM 2021 on April 19th, Donatas couldn't hide his happiness with the national and international recognition of his work: “This is the best thing: I’m recognized for something I like to do”.
For the first time in eleven years of WLM, a picture outside Europe and Asia won the first place in the competition. This picture was selected among the 172,666 photos submitted to the international final round in 2021.
And remember: All the wonderful photos sent to this 12th edition of the competition are now part of Wikimedia Commons and can be consulted and used by anyone!
Brazilian plans for WLM 2022
Wiki Movimento Brasil (WMB) is working on some improvements for this year's competition:
Improvement in UX with a dedicated app for map visualization and media upload, especially conceived for mobile-phone users;
Addition of more monuments to the lists aiming to improve coverage of all the Brazilian states and state capitals, which leads to increased diversity in contributions;
Campaigns to encourage participants to send photos of different types and perspectives, with the purpose of improving the representation of the monuments on Wikidata with more properties being filled; and
This year, there will be a special prize for photographs of the state of Espírito Santo monuments.
As you may know every year WMB wants to reduce the information gap about one of the Brazilian States. Last year, Bahia was the star of our first edition (see more in Wiki Loves Bahia). Between July and November 2021, we held five edit-a-thons that brought together 161 participants, who edited 1,257 articles on Wikipedia in Portuguese and created another 298 new ones.
Now it’s time for a new challenge: Espírito Santo! This is a Brazilian SouthWest State and it’s still really underrepresented in Wiki: 79% of its 250 monuments have no picture.
A special partnership
And we are happy to announce that now our source of listed monuments in Brazil is turning into a WikiProject!
iPatrimônio is a volunteer project held by three professionals from different and complementary fields of knowledge. Caio Lucena, the creator of the project, is an Electrical Engineer; Cida Barros, the Social Media Manager, is a journalist specialized in social media; and I, the “search-organize-and-complement-information bot”, am Advertiser and Architect.
This partnership aims to enlarge even more the number of monuments in this year’s WLM monuments list. And we hope it may last many years.