Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Uzo Iweala, Nigerian author, interviewed by Zack McCune, June 14, 2017
Partial transcript of videoEdit
DR. UZODINMA IWEALA: But I also think within that, when you start talking about new ways that people access knowledge, with, for example, Instagram pictures, video, one of the things that came up in one of the dinners we had-- and I think this was one of the points that we all left thinking, wow, this is amazing-- was, when you think about what has been privileged in the old model, where it's the written form, written contents, that's verified by multiple sources, but in environments where people are not necessarily dealing with that.
Again, forget digital literacy, you're talking about just general literacy, where a lot of history, or a lot of storytelling, has been done orally, right? So in Nigeria, we have a lot of historical information that's maybe not verifiable, that's not on record because it's oral history. A personal example, I can talk about my own background, my own lineage. We can trace back to maybe the 1400s, but no one would believe because the start of that is in the 1800s, when the British came in and started keeping paper records. But the stories go back way, way further.
So one of the things that came up is people want to be able to document that, and they want to have trustworthy sources for that information. But how do you do that if the portal that you're using won't accept the form that you would do it in? Are there ways to adapt to that?
If video is becoming a big thing, is there a way of having a verifiable video entry? If oral storytelling, or oral history, is a way of capturing a historical event-- say the sack of Benin, or even before that, the rise of Lagos as a city-- is there a way to tell that, and have that be part and parcel of a larger body of information that maybe is hybridized? And then you can incorporate some of these new forms. You can incorporate somebody on video and have that be sent out over the social media networks that people access.
And I think that was a really interesting insight that came up, that people are hungry to incorporate these new forms. And I think it would actually, per environment, maybe here, in San Francisco, it's a different thing. But in Lagos, Nigeria, I don't know, in Salvador and Brazil, maybe the access and the popularity increases if you expand the forms that people can actually use to access.