Wiki Takes Santa Leopoldina
Wiki Takes Santa Leopoldina was an iniciative to increase the amount / quality of information about the small city of Santa Leopoldina, settled in Espírito Santo State, available in Wikimedia projects in Portuguese. It was part of the international program of Wikimania 2022 and also of the Brazilian 2022 project called Wiki Loves Espírito Santo, organized by Wiki Movimento Brasil (WMB) in partnership with Secretary of State for Culture (SeCult-ES) and Museu do Colono (Museum of Imigrants).
Between August 11th and 14th 2022, 12 wikimedians from different parts of Brazil "occupied" the city to:
- Digitize part of the collection of Museu do Colono (Museum of Imigrants);
- Take photowalks to document urban and rural historical buildings;
- Map urban and rural historical buildings in OpenStreetMap, linking them to WikiData items;
- Participate in an edit-a-thon about the city.
Museu do Colono hosted the in-person activities. During this event, we documented and geolocated 100% of the listed assets from Santa Leopoldina-ES, including the rural ones. Not even SeCult-ES has pictures of some of them.
Wiki Takes Santa Leopoldina was the first Wiki Takes out of São Paulo State (SP) organized by Wiki Movimento Brasil (WMB) and it was possible due to a Wikimania 2022 Grant. 12 Wikimedians had the opportunity to travel from three different regions (Northeast, Southeast and South) and 6 different States of Brazil (Bahia, Espírito Santo, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina and São Paulo) to participate in the Brazilian in-person activity held during Wikimania 2022. The grant provided transportation, accomodation and meals for them; and also meals for another 5 local partners who helped to organize the event. And it also provided coffee and snacks for 45 people who participated in the activities: 12 Wikimedians, 13 employees from the hosting GLAM institution, and 20 employees from SeCult-ES.
We also had some extra outcome:
- More than 100 people around the world attended the wikimania sessions transmitted from Santa Leopoldina during the Wiki Takes event;
- 13 employees from the hosting GLAM institution and 20 employees from the Secretary of State for Culture (SeCult-ES) participated in the activities and some of them are potential newcomers;
- Wikimedians and partners had the opportunity to visit Quilombo Retiro, located near the urban area, and the historical buildings distributed around the rural area;
- 100% of the listed assets from Santa Leopoldina-ES were documented and geolocated, including 31 historical buildings in the historical center of Santa Leopoldina and 10 historical buildings in the rural area;
- 12 quilombolas presented dance/music celebrations that were registered in videos and photos;
- The leader of Quilombo Retiro and the master of the band had their historical testimonial registered in videos and photos.
This event provided WMB with invaluable experience in how to organize quick Wiki events in small cities out of SP and how to immerse our members in this type of events and programmes, considering financial and geographical factors. The experience was both challenging and rewarding.
How to organize a “Wiki Takes a City” event
Wiki Movimento Brasil (WMB) has promoted “Wiki Takes a City” projects since 2019. They involve a series of activities to improve content on the Internet about a chosen location, including edit-a-thons, photowalks, digital mapping and GLAM-Wiki outreach. This type of activity aims to disseminate the open knowledge culture (with special interest in places out of big urban centers) and it is specially designed to fill knowledge gaps and outreach Wikimedia in places where our projects are not well known.
STEP 1. Choose a city: Any city may hold a “Wiki Takes" event, but WMB usually pays attention to:
- Large number of listed assets;
- Few photos and information available on wiki platforms;
- Few Wikipedia articles in the category of that city;
- Presence of cultural peculiarities and/or groups underrepresented on Wiki projects;
- Underrepresented geographic regions.
STEP 2. Contact local partners
- Search for local wikimedians or other people related to open knowledge culture;
- Search for potential GLAM partners among municipal cultural institutions, with special interest in the ones that publicize their collections online (on websites, social networks, etc.).
STEP 3. Call for participants
- For Wikimedians: Create an online form and send it through the community communication channels;
- For Local Participants: Publicize the event on social networks, get in touch with the Town Hall, local schools, photography clubs, etc.
STEP 4. Pillars of a “Wiki Takes” promoted by WMB
- Photowalks: Photowalks are crucial for an “Wiki Takes” event and relatively easy to perform. You can start photographing the listed assets located in the municipality and then go to squares, parks, relevant public buildings, as well as documenting peculiar cultural places. The photowalks can also end with a collective celebration/event, in order to strengthen ties among wikimedists and newcomers.
- Mapping the city: OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a geographic database that many free knowledge projects use as base for their maps, including Wikipedia itself. In general, all Brazilian cities have their structure well mapped in OSM. During a “Wiki Takes” event, the main activity is to refine this information, adding missing buildings, maping forest reserves and relating the mapped items in OSM with their respective items in Wikidata.
- Edit-a-Thon aims to create and improve articles directly related to the choosen municipality; create lists of potentially valuable articles to be used as reference in future events; and present Wikimedia projects to local citizens, giving them the opportunity to learn how to edit Wikipedia.
- GLAM initiative: During an “Wiki Takes” event, the GLAM initiative must be objective and efficient. So, the idea is to digitize and upload part of the collection of a small-sized GLAM institution. A low-cost equipment kit is a good solution in these cases, as the proposed by Museu Portátil (Portable Museum) Project. See more information about it in our January Report.
P.S.1: Number of participants: It is important that the team participating in the “Wiki Takes” event includes wikimedians who have expertise in the activities to be held. The number of participants depends on the choosen city, but considering small or medium-sized cities, a minimum team would include:
- 2 experienced participants for guiding the photowalk;
- 1 experienced participant for mapping the buildings and other places of interest;
- 2 experienced participants for teaching during the edit-a-thon;
- 1 experienced participant for digitizing and teaching how to digitize part of the collection of the choosen GLAM partner;
- 1 local GLAM partner.
“Wiki Takes” events held by WMB
About decolonizing knowledge in Brazil
"Diversity & Decolonization" is one of the five key principles that guide the activities and programs of Wiki Movimento Brasil (WMB) and are described in our Theory of Change. The other ones are:
- Interconnection & Partnerships
- Social Relevance
It means our cultural initiatives consider the main scenario in Brazil, where there are many underrepresented groups and communities and they have no resources for creating content by themselves.
In the end of 2021, Wiki Movimento Brasil started a strategic redefinition process and one of the inescapable understandings is the necessity of increase our actions over the power relations involved in knowledge production and sharing. We must adapt our practices, tecnologies and even our interaction networks to embrace distinct cosmovisions and peripherical realities. We are still in the reflexion / experimentation phase, but we already have some learnings to share.
In 2021, WMB co-organized WikidataCon in partnership with Wikimedia Deutschland which included a process of reimagining Wikidata from the margins in an activation with Latin American and Caribbean Affiliates and Whose Knowledge? project. The preparatory program for WikidataCon was called Transbordados and was designed under the scope to better understand and envision possible paths for the empowered performance of historically marginalized communities in the Wikidata ecosystem. Some of the issues were:
- What is the infrastructure required to structure data according multiple epistemic perspectives? How can we reach it?
- What is the knowledge governance necessary for different identities and cultures to coexist and collaborate on Wikidata?
As digitization is still a huge barrier for cultural institutions when it comes to heritage digital preservation and online visibility, WMB seeks for a basic infraestructure wich enable any cultural institution, regardless of their resources or size, to contribute with Wiki Projects. This concern leads us to Museu Portátil project wich was coordinated by the art historian and curator Carolina Matos in a partnership with Goethe-Institut São Paulo, Instituto Moreira Salles and Wiki Movimento Brasil. At the core of Museu Portátil is a portable digitization kit that includes a smartphone, a set of supports and some basic lighting accessories. The equipment costs around 10 thousand BRL - less than 2 thousand US dollars -, and it is an accessible solution for institutions with low human and/or financial resources. Once the collections are digitized, the equipment can also be shared and used by different institutions in the region.
One of the pilot activities of this low resource digitization and dissemination project was held by Centro de Memória da Santa Casa da Bahia that keeps the UNESCO awarded documental series Livros do Banguê - a set of eleven books with recordings of burial expenses for Africans and their enslaved descendants, as well as deceased indigents between 1742 and 1856. This set of documents is fundamental for the study of African diaspora and slavery because it contains information about birth and deathplace, and sometimes even body marks from the colonial violence. The first book is already available at GLAM-Wiki initiative with Centro de Memória da Santa Casa da Bahia.
As annouced in our last Report, during the closing session of WikiCon Brasil 2022, one decolonial GLAM partnership was signed in-person by Valério Mello (President of WMB) and Diana Souza from the Rede de Historiadoras Negras e Historiadores Negros (Black Historians Network). This GLAM partnership aims to:
- Create a on-wiki Open Digital Repository of the academic production of Black Historians;
- Create Wikipedia articles about Brazilian black personalities and other people who played a leading role in historical events and processes;
- Add many Wikiquotes of Brazilian black researchers and great personalities, books, films and proverbs.
WMB is also structuring some research projects on different decolonial work front, such as:
- Collaborative ontology protocols for uploading indigenous collections, avoiding voluntarism and establishing a model suitable for native populations (inspired by Local Context project);
- Enslaved people information modelling based on the eleven books of Banguê in a partnership with Rede de Historiadoras Negras e de Historiadores Negros, including the identification of the marks burned into the skin of people, relating this information to their enslaver. This work may help to construct, for example, a list of people subjugated and the torture inflicted to them by the enslavers (inpired by the project "Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade" (Enslaved.org)).
The participation of Wiki Movimento Brasil (WMB) in Wikimania 2022 Sessions
- Crisis & GLAM
[link to the session]
What role does open access to cultural heritage play in today’s crises? Join to hear about the experiences and activities of wikimedians responding to crises, and to map out collaborations and practices that can help combat crisis situations facing humans, the environment, and cultural heritage. We have the privilege to hear three speakers talk about their experiences confronting and responding to crises.
Éder Porto (Wiki Movimento Brasil) introduces the digital reconstruction work they undertook when a massive fire devastated the building and collections of the National Museum of Brazil in 2018.
Nassima Chahboun (Wiki World Heritage) walks us through the work of WHindanger that promotes and raises awareness of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in danger using participatory creative tactics and Wikimedia projects to create an interactive website.
Hanna Osadchuk (Wikimedia Ukraine) talks about open access to cultural heritage as seen from within the ongoing war.
- Decolonizing the Internet’s Structured Data, join the conversation!
[link to the session]
In October 2021, we invited over 40 participants from around the world for the conversation Decolonizing the Internet’s Structured Data, leading up to WikidataCon, jointly organized by Whose Knowledge?, Wiki Movimento Brasil, and Wikimedia Deutschland. The gathering report is available here: https://whoseknowledge.org/resource/dti-structured-data-report/
That was a much needed opportunity to imagine radical possibilities for structured data across regions and areas of study. Many participants voiced their interest in organizing more collective spaces and advancing more concrete steps towards emancipatory practices. In Wikimania 2022, we want to resume the conversation, and make it broader and deeper, together with the Wikimedia community.
- How to organize a “Wiki Takes a City” event
[link to the session]
A Wiki Takes a City is a series of activities to improve content on the Internet about a chosen location. That includes edit-a-thons, photowalks, digital mapping and GLAM-Wiki outreach. This kind of activity is especially effective to solve knowledge gaps and outreach Wikimedia in places where our projects are not well known.
Wiki Movimento Brasil has promoted “Wiki Takes a City” projects since 2019 and this year we are integrating its activities with Wikimania presentations and watch parties. In this session we presented to other communities how to organize this type of event, based on our previous and current experiences, detailing all the steps needed to implement it, such as how to choose the location, how to get in touch with local partners, outreach to participants and organize the photowalks, edit-a-thons and other activities.
We held the section during one of ours Wiki Takes, in Santa Leopoldina, Espírito Santo. This activity is part of our year-long effort to improve content on Espírito Santo on Wikimedia projects.
- Meet the members that are drafting the Wikimedia Movement Charter
[link to the session]
We have prepared a introduction video about the committee: the video shows the committee members, giving faces to our names and connecting the languages the projects that we are part of. The video will answer some of the basic questions about the charter. After that, there is time for a Q&A.
- Meet the members that are drafting the Wikimedia Movement Charter, Part 2
[link to the session]
We will be recording and introductional video next weekend and would like to work this into a short video of ~5 minutes.
The video will show us working together, giving faces to our names and connecting the languages the projects that we are part of. The video will answer some of the basic questions and most importantly \Why does the movement need a charter\?
- Movement Strategy, Implementation lightning talks!, Part 2
[link to the session]
In this lightning talk session, three speakers from different Wikimedia organizations and groups will present their projects by which they are working on implementing a part of Wikimedia’s Movement Strategy. What are their challenges during implementation, what have they learned and could be shared with others interested in implementing Movement Strategy, and what future goals they have for their work and for Movement Strategy? Each speaker presents their work for 10 min, and can answer questions from the audience for 5 min. The idea is to showcase tangible examples of what Movement Strategy Implementation looks like in practice.
- Understanding DEI in Wiki Loves Monuments and federated campaigns at-large
[link to the session]
Wiki Loves Monuments conducted a diversity, equity and inclusivity (DEI) research to re-evaluate the competition’s concept and strategies of engagement. As part of the process, we spoke to our national WLM organisers to understand the roadblocks faced in organising an inclusive photo competition in their respective countries. As part of this Wikimania 2022 we would like to propose a panel discussion on some of the DEI research findings. We feel that some of the DEI issues, highlighted by the organisers, are pertinent across Wiki Loves photo competitions. This Wikimania session would not only facilitate discussion across Wiki Loves campaigns, but also provide a space for Wikimedians to share and learn from each other’s experience.
- Wiki Loves Espírito Santo, a case study
[link to the session]
Since 2021, Wiki Movimento Brasil User Group has promoted year long projects called “Wiki Loves a State”. In these projects, a series of dissemination activities and resources are developed to improve coverage of the content on the Wikimedia projects about the state chosen. In 2021, we developed Wiki Loves Bahia and this year we are promoting Wiki Loves Espírito Santo with activities focusing on the State of Espírito Santo, one of the smallest states on the country, but bigger than Switzerland and very underrepresented on the Wikimedia projects -- and the internet! This session will expand on what the Wiki Loves Espírito Santo project is and what are its goals, the activities promoted and the results so far. We will also a set of how-to for contributors around the world who might be interested in replicating this kind of activities. We will make the presentation during one of our outreach activities in Espírito Santo, so as to connect local participants to our global community.
- What does decolonizing knowledge look like in Latin America?/br>
[link to the session]
In this workshop, we will explore what “decolonization” might mean in specific contexts, particularly in Latin America. We will briefly share examples of work that each of the chapters has been doing to close technological & digital literacy gaps in different sectors, from education to GLAM. We will invite participants to share their own examples and to collectively reflect on how they can think of decolonizing knowledge in their own context. We will close the session with an activity that makes participants feel powerful actors in crafting and elevating their knowledge.
Throughout this workshop, we will make sure to design engaging activities that participants can interact with, using ice-breakers, collaborative docs and boards, among others.
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