Some Togo documentaries recently released on Wikimedia Commons (HM)
Recently, the African Studies Center Leiden donated a number of movies on Africa to Wikimedia Commons. Three of them answer the following questions:
How hard is it on you if you are forced to marry yet another extra wife? Just after your favourite wife died? Local leader Mr. Mbambim of Togo, Africa, explained this in person, in a 1973 movie made by Dutch law professor van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal.
"Nobody wants a toad in their courtyard! Why was I deposed? I don't know." A disappointed North Togolese ex-leader complained to van Rouveroy and his spouse Els in 1979.
Does a married girl who is pregnant by her lover have to stay with her husband, to whom she was once promised in a family bargain? (Spoiler alert: No.) A local judge in Togo came to a righteous conclusion in 1980, applying French colonial and indigenous customary law, as shown in a movie by the same professor.
E. van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal: Mbambim, a Lineage-Head. Togo, 1973. 22 minutes.
E. van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal: A Toad In The Courtyard. Togo, 1979. 23 minutes.
E. van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal: À la Recherche de la Justice. Togo, 1980. 52 minutes.
Filmmakers of Africa (HM)
West Africa has by now an impressive tradition of film making, for instance in francophone Senegal since the late 1960s with pioneer Djibril Diop Mambéty (1945-1998). Because of the language barrier, their filmmakers are little known in the Anglo-Saxon world. At ASC we are currently supplying enhanced English translations of their French Wikipedia biographies, starting with Januário Afonso (São Tomé, born 1963), Gahité Fofana (Guinea, born 1965), and Bouna Medoune Seye (Senegal, 1956-2017).
Open Churches Photochallenge (MvL)
In June 2023, The Open Kerken Photochallenge (Open Churches) was held. This month long event was aimed a encouraging the documentation and sharing of images of churches and religious sites on Wikimedia Commons. Participants were invited to explore, photograph, and contribute their captures to the platform, making these mesmerizing architectural wonders accessible to a worldwide audience. Starting point of the challenge was a Dutch event called Open Kerken Dag, in which all the churches in the Netherlands open their doors to the general public. The event lasted till June 30. A total of 141 participants uploaded 3317 photographs of both the interior and exterior of Dutch churches. 91 participants were new editors. The event was organised by Romaine as lead organiser, together with the organisation Open Kerken Nederland, with support from Wikimedia Nederland.
By actively participating in the Open Kerken Challenge, contributors played a pivotal role in preserving cultural heritage. The initiative celebrated the architectural splendor, intricate artwork, and spiritual importance of these sacred spaces, ensuring their enduring legacy for future generations. For more information about the challenge, see the projectpage on Commons (in Dutch).
Wiki goes Caribbean meet-up in Dutch National Archive (MvL)
The Dutch National Archives hosted a meet-up for the "Wiki Goes Caribbean" project, aimed at exploring and enriching Wikipedia articles related to former Dutch Caribbean cultural heritage. The event took place at the Archives' premises in Den Haag and saw the participation of 7 dedicated individuals passionate about preserving and promoting the vibrant history and culture of the former Dutch Caribbean region. They edited Dutch, English and Papiamentu Wikipedia as well as making improvements to Commons category structures.
The attendees expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded individuals and to contribute to a platform as influential as Wikipedia. They felt empowered to continue their involvement in preserving cultural heritage through Wikipedia. For more information about the Wiki goes Caribbean project, see the project page on Dutch Wikipedia.