Wikiesfera/Reports/2021

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Wikiesfera Grupo de Usuarixs (ESP-WE) was officially recognized by the Affiliations Committee on May 9, 2018. However, as a stable working group, Wikiesfera was launched in 2015 at the now disappeared municipal culture center Medialab Prado in Madrid (Spain), where it became one of its most representative projects. During 2021 and the first half of 2022, Wikiesfera has continued to settle and expand its permanent learning community constituting itself as a space of reference in Spain, with weekly meetings, other punctual events of greater affluence and projects linked to institutions that have had presence in local and national media. Both in regular meetings and editing marathons, new editors have been incorporated and dozens of articles have been published in Wikipedia. Aware of the importance of face-to-face meetings for our community, we have resumed them as soon as the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic allowed us to do so. In addition, we have maintained the development of some meetings and activities by videoconference. In the following report, the most relevant achievements of Wikiesfera during the last year are shown, although a detailed list of activities can also be consulted in this link.

WorkgroupEdit

 
Working group meeting at Medialab Matadero

In March 2021, the Madrid City Council announced that Medialab Prado (Madrid, Spain), the cultural center where Wikiesfera was born in 2015 and where we had the weekly working meetings, was moving to Matadero Madrid, another municipal space in an area of Madrid further away from the center. Faced with this change, we wanted to maintain the link with the new Medialab Matadero but we encountered two problems:

  • on Mondays (the day of the week of our meetings) the Matadero Madrid space was not open;
  • and on Wednesdays (the other day when most Wikiesfera participants could come) there were Wikimedia España group meetings twice a month.

This situation forced us to reduce face-to-face meetings from weekly to twice a month and to hold 2 monthly meetings virtually (so we had to continue having an extraordinary expense in a professional videoconferencing application). In this process (change of location, day and frequency), we lost many participants who remained in contact with the group through the mailing list but were unable to attend in person as before the pandemic. We are trying to find a new space in the center of Madrid where we can recover the weekly meetings and where we can increase the number of Wikiesfera participants.

Highlighted metricsEdit

 
Virtual meeting of the working group

Despite these added difficulties, Wikiesfera has continued to post new achievements during this period, in addition to the progress made by the group since its foundation, of which we highlight some significant data:

  • TRAINING nearly 600 editors: between participants in editing marathons and regular attendees to the working group;
  • CREATE more than 4,000 new articles: mostly biographies of women and LGBT people, with no record of deleting any of them;
  • MAKE more than 75,000 edits: improving and updating articles;
  • UPLOAD more than 3,500 images: used in articles more than 2,300;
  • GETTING more than 500 million views of articles created and edited: high impact of the group's contributions.

Apart from those who already know the group, people interested in learning how to edit in Wikipedia are joining us on a regular basis. Our meetings (face-to-face and virtual), about 35 since last year and with an average attendance of 9 people, do not have previously established objectives, but are designed for each attendee to work on those aspects they wish, from getting started in editing articles, resolving doubts, sharing progress and problems, etc. Those who have come to these meetings have joined the mailing list, which already has 265 people, and in which doubts are solved, new articles are shared for others to verify and improve, and information about activities related to Wikiesfera is offered. In short, from Wikiesfera we continue accompanying editors in their learning process and introduction to the Wikimedia universe, from an open and friendly meeting space formed by a consolidated community of volunteers.

 
Periféricas, Wikiesfera's working node

PeriféricasEdit

One of the objectives of Wikiesfera has been to help the creation of smaller autonomous groups, so that they could get together by interests or locations and develop their own work dynamics. In October 2021, the first session of the Periféricas workgroup took place in the Espacio Colaborativo La Atenea in Móstoles. The name Periféricas refers to the double condition of the group being located in the outskirts (periferia) of Madrid and also how women have historically been in the margins of knowledge and the public sphere.

This group was created by Pintakuda, one of the oldest and most experienced members of Wikiesfera, to facilitate that other people interested in learning how to edit in Wikipedia have a meeting space in the south of Madrid. During this academic year 2021-22 they have been meeting once a month and establishing their learning group.

ActivitiesEdit

EditatonasEdit

Since 2015, Wikiesfera fights the gender gap in Wikipedia by holding editatonas on different topics with the aim of raising awareness about this problem and getting more female editors to join the project. The meetings (more than 60 since Wikiesfera was created) have a playful nature and the participants are accompanied at all times to enjoy the experience, as it is not intended to be a training activity but an experiential one: publishing an article successfully as a motivation to learn how to edit and publish more. In addition, group work is encouraged for data collection and collaborative development of the text. A high percentage of the people who attend the editatonas later join the working group to become editors.

During 2021 and the first half of 2022, we conducted 18 editatonas for creation and translation articles on STEM women, lesbians, gypsies, female jurists, LGBT people, Murcian female writers, female inventors, AIDS activists, Aragonese female librarians and women pacifists, among others.

Of these editatonas, it is worth highlighting the work we have done with people over 55, who have been able to publish biographies of STEM women and female musicians, thanks to Wikipedia's built-in translation tool that helps break the digital divide at certain ages.

Conferences and workshopsEdit

 
Participation in Maldita Educación

During the last year, from Wikiesfera we have been invited to give talks, workshops or participate in round tables related to the gender gap in Wikipedia. Some of the institutions that have contacted our group for these interventions have been:

MeetingsEdit

 
Cécile Babiole's visit to Wikiesfera

This academic year 2021-22, we have met with different people and organizations of the Wikimedia movement, with whom we have exchanged experiences and we have talked about future alliances. For instance, we had the opportunity to meet with several colleagues from WikiEditorasLx in Madrid and also in Lisbon (Portugal); with Genoveva Galarza, programmer of the Abstract Wikipedia project of the Wikimedia Foundation; with Cécile Babiole, co-founder of the French artists' collective Roberte le Rousse to talk about Wikifemia - Langue, genre, technologies; and with Luisina Ferrante, in charge of Education and Human Rights of Wikimedia Argentina.

 
Núria Ferrer's visit to Wikiesfera

In addition, in the working group sessions, we also had some visitors with interesting subjects for Wikiesfera and with whom we hope to collaborate in some way:

  • Manuel Correa, researcher on historical memory and filmmaker who is developing a project called "Atlas de la Desaparición" in Medialab Matadero and that is framed in the mapping of people disappeared by Francoism in the Valle de los Caídos (Madrid), and with whom we talked about possible crossovers of his work with our work of editing;
  • Núria Ferran-Ferrer, researcher at the University of Barcelona who is developing a project on the gender gap in the Spanish Wikipedia;
  • Isa Zapico, ambassador of the Wikimedia Foundation's web and growth team, who presented the new features of the new Wikipedia desktop as well as the new tools for editors who are taking their first steps on Wikipedia.

ProjectsEdit

Paisaje de la LuzEdit

VIDEO: The Landscape of Light on Wikipedia

During the second half of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, and in coordination with Medialab Matadero, we developed for the Madrid City Council a training project structured in six months in which a working group was created focused on generating content on the heritage of the Paisaje de la Luz (Landscape of Light), the candidacy submitted to Unesco to be part of the World Heritage List. This training, focused on practical aspects, has allowed the participants to acquire different digital skills as well as agile writing and reading.

Four editathons were organized (I #25S, II #23O, III #13N and IV #22E) in which 38 people participated, as well as 5 training meetings with an average attendance of 8 people. During the months that this project lasted, we managed to make visible places, buildings, works, people, plants and other elements linked to the heritage of the Landscape of Light, with the publication of 118 articles (66 of creation and 52 of translation); 90 images uploaded to Commons and an impact of 3,800,000 visits to articles created or edited by the group. These figures helped to drive a second phase of the project, in which Medialab has no longer participated.

For the second phase of this project, Wikiesfera met with the 7 working groups that are part of the Civic and Social Council of the Madrid City Council: 1. Civic Life; 2. Science and Innovation; 3. Heritage Education and Generational Renewal; 4. A new group of more than 20 editors has emerged from these meetings, the results of which will be evaluated at the end of the project in December 2022.

AspasiaEdit

 
WikiAragon's Birthday Cake
 
WikiAragon's first birthday

In 2020, Wikiesfera was in charge of the coordination of the editatonas for the Aspasia Project promoted by the Laboratory of the General Directorate of Open Government and Social Innovation (LAAAB) of the Government of Aragon (Spain) in collaboration with the Aragonese Institute of Women (IAM). The objective is to give visibility in Wikipedia to relevant women from Aragon in different fields and to train new editors who can be part of the working group that has been created: WikiAragón.

In June 2022, the working group celebrated its first anniversary at the LAAAB headquarters in Zaragoza, where the wikipedistas took balance of the course, with wikitarta included. They have their mailing list, their blog and their own social networks where they share the progress they are making as editors to encourage other women in Aragon to join the meetings and the learning group.

Between September 2021 and June 2022, 3 editatonas have been developed on different topics, and with invited experts in different fields: on rural women, STEM women and women from Alto Aragon, in which 32 editors have participated and 16 new articles have been created.

Wikiproyecto CircoEdit

 
Image from Wikiproyecto:Circo

One of the members of Wikiesfera, Liliana Alviárez, has launched the Wikiproyecto:Circo as a workspace to reduce the knowledge gap about the circus world in Wikipedia in Spanish. With that aim, she carried out in coordination with the Teatro Circo Price in Madrid an editathon on magic and an editathon on the Circus World in which 15 people participated and 15 new articles were created. These figures are in addition to those of the activities linked to the circus that Wikiesfera has been carrying out since 2019. To give visibility to the work being developed in the wikiproject, Lalviarez has created the Miss Cirquera profile in the social networks Twitter and Instagram, where more than 1,000 followers read information about the biographies and other articles created in Wikipedia in Spanish about the circus.

 
III Editathon on the Circus World

In addition, in January Lalviarez was invited to participate in the V CircoRED Congress (held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) which is organized together with the Association of Circus Professionals of the Canary Islands (APCIC) with the support of the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM), the Canarian Institute of Cultural Development, the Cabildo of Gran Canaria, the Canary Foundation for the Performing Arts and Music and the collaboration of the Guiniguada Theater and Canarias Crea. In this meeting, Lalviarez intervened in the round table of Circus History: Circus and Wikipedia where she exposed the importance of making visible in Wikipedia all the knowledge linked to the Circus World.

Later, in May 2022, Lalviarez was also invited to the round table "New ways of communicating the circus" framed in the 26th edition of the Trapezi Circus Fair (held in Reus). This meeting was organized by the Reus City Council, Reus Cultura, the Tarragona Provincial Council, the Department of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Catalan Institute of Cultural Enterprises.

PublicationsEdit

Since its inception, the work of education and divulgation carried out by Wikiesfera has been part of academic papers or institutional publications, both for its innovative dynamics of collaborative work and for its achievements in activities of visibility of women in Wikipedia. In this period, from mid 2021 to 2022, we have received mentions in the study Female Scientists Against Coronavirus on Wikipedia by Encina Calvo Iglesias for the Complutense University of Madrid, and the academic paper Women Journalists In Wikipedia: An Analysis From A Gender Perspective by Noemí Morejón Llamas and Desirée Ramos Castro for the University of Barcelona and the UOC.

In addition, Wikiesfera has participated in the elaboration of the Fanzine 5º Aniversario Herstóricas 17/22 Dónde están las mujeres with the article Nadie hablará de nosotras si no estamos en Wikipedia (No one will talk about us if we are not in Wikipedia) signed by Patricia Horrillo. Finally, the digital culture portal IdeasDigitalES proposed Wikiesfera to be part of this repository of Digital Communities, Free Culture, Collective Intelligence and Archive.

Social MediaEdit

During this last year, we have carried out communication campaigns on our social networks to spread the word about the activities we organize and to get more people interested in volunteer editing work. We have also dedicated time and effort to share the articles created and published in our editatonas: we explain the importance of creating biographies of women referents in many disciplines in order to give them visibility and reduce the gender gap inside and outside Wikipedia.

As of June 30, 2022, Wikiesfera has an official Facebook page with 584 followers and a Twitter account followed by 820 people. In addition, in the YouTube channel, where we upload the talks given about Wikipedia in different forums as well as the presentations given by experts in our editatonas, we have 39 subscribers.

MediaEdit

Many of the activities organized by Wikiesfera have had presence in local and national media, with news, reports and interviews that add to our press clipping, elaborated since 2015. Below, you can consult the detailed list of the pieces in press (26), radio (9) and television (2) of our group of users in these media during the academic year 2021-22:

PressEdit

Radio and podcastEdit

TV and videoEdit

FinancingEdit

Since it was founded in 2015, Wikiesfera has been a working group sustained by the voluntary work of its founder and, later on, of the wikipedians who have been part of the project. The support of an institution such as Medialab Prado was vital for its survival in the early years, being able to count on its own permanent space equipped for the weekly meetings of the group and for the development of the editatonas (rooms with tables, chairs, power strips and internet connection in a public space is not something common in a city like Madrid). Its disappearance has led us to a new situation in which we are forced to look for a private space that we will have to rent in order to continue with our activity, with the fixed costs that this implies.

The COVID-19 pandemic also brought us the need to spend on a professional digital platform to be able to develop the Wikiesfera activity in a more fluid way. This cost (139.90€/year) is not going to disappear since many institutions ask us for talks or workshops through these videoconferencing systems and there are many people who want to participate in the meetings even if they cannot come in person. We do not want to leave out many women who want to continue participating in Wikiesfera remotely.

Despite the fact that Wikiesfera had never applied for any WMF grant before, within our line of work around the Historical Memory of Spain, in 2021 we applied for an annual grant that was finally rejected. Apart from receiving coordinated attacks on the proposal (which violate Wikimedia's friendly space policy, as WMF itself later admitted), we were the only project out of the 11 submitted in Europe that did not receive feedback from the committee in charge of evaluating our application. We made a great effort (several months of work and writing all the contents in English, which is not our mother tongue) to enter the new lines of funding that WMF wanted to develop but our proposal was not managed like the rest.

Challenges aheadEdit

Wikiesfera's goal is to continue to grow and remain the reference group in Spain in the fight against the gender gap in Wikipedia, as well as increase the visibility of LGBT people and minorities underrepresented in the free encyclopedia. This will require the financial support of the WMF, without which the sustainability of the project is in real danger. The next step, therefore, will be to apply for a new grant for the year 2023 and see how this support will allow us to do the work we have been doing for years more efficiently.