Grants:PEG/WM AR/Participation at Frankfurt 2010/Report

Frankfurt Book Fair Panel
Berlin Panel. October 4th. 2010.

Project Goal:

  • To present the model of edition, collaborative elaboration and dissemination of knowledge based on Wikipedia to the most important editorial industry fair in the world.
  • To participate in the debates on copyrights that will take place at the fair.
  • To promote the movement of free culture in Argentina, of which Wikimedia Argentina takes active part.

Description of actual activities:

Argentina was the guest of Honour at the World Biggest Book Fair, in Frankfurt, October 5 to 8th, 2010. Certainly the most relevant cultural actors in Argentina participated in the Book fair. There were also participants from the Government, including President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. It was a good opportunity to open the debate regarding free access to knowledge and cultural rights.

As we were there invited by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, we also participated in activities in their headquarters in Berlin.

We gave two public talks:

  • October 4th: Berlin
  • October 7th. Frankfurt Book Fair

We presented Argentina Copyleft a Book both in Spanish and German, where we contributed two articles.

We also had a special place at HBS Both in Frankfurt, where we had our own materials: Wikipedia Books, like Bicentenario Argentino, Wikipedia en el Aula, and a tourist guide to the most beautiful places in our country.

What lessons were learned that could help others succeed in similar projects?

The main lesson learned was that if you want to participate in such a big event like a public book fair, in a foreign country, you will always need local support. Local support is absolutely essential to reach your goals. We could have never did this project without the local support of Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Berlin and the cooperation of German Chapter, that provided us printed materials for the Book Fair. This kind of projects are certainly good if you want to improve your skills on team working, and your cooperation with organisations in other countries.

Even while we had a small amount of public in our presentation during the book fair, we have to say that most of them were people from Argentina, mainly from Cultural field, specially from Buenos Aires City Government, National Government, and people intrested in the copyright debate.

One of the main problems we faced in this project, was that we miscalculated the costs and expenses. Frankfurt is extremely expensive during the Book Fair. So, the amount requested was not enough to cover the project.

What impact did the project have on WMF mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation? Impact of this kind of projects is hard to measure. But, including wikimedia and other free culture organisations in the main debate regarding copyright issues is a must. The debates regarding digitisation, e-books, piracy and DRMs is always present in this kind of industrial driven events like the Frankfurt Book Fair. This project gave us the chance to say something different in a very conservative business environment. As access to knowledge is one of our main goals, promoting this kind of debates certainly increased our reach and credibility.

Some Press Coverage:

  • WikiSign Post October Edition:

Detail of expenditures:

  • Flight Ar$ 7.161,00
  • Hotel in Frankfurt Ar$ 2.741,29
  • Others Ar$ 400,00
  • Per diem Ar$ 2.626,18
  • Overhead and admin. costs. Ar$ 1200,00
  • TOTAL Ar$ 14.928,47

- Estimated exchange rate: 3.93

- Total Amount in US Dollars: 3.800,00.-

Amount underspent in US Dollars:

We overspent around 1500usd. We covered that overspending with part of the other grant for Frankfurt Bookfair.

The cost of the project exceeded the allocated money.

Will you be requesting re-allocation of remaining grant funding?