Wikimedia Community User Group Uganda/Events & Projects/Wikimania 2021/Sandra Aceng/Report
The Wikimania 2021 Conference happened online from August 13th to 17th, 2021.
Being a recipient of the Wikimania 2021 scholarships, this did not just enabled me to participate virtually but i was able to learn, network and get new ideas of how i could better contribute to promoting open and free knowledge in Uganda and Africa at large.
Being my first time attending Wikimania, i attended the following sessions;
- Can we rid Wikipedia of its content gender gaps? Views from Women in Red. YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbpQ1dWDq0E
- Newcomers Experience and Content Campaigns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcpX1HsG50E
- Revisiting the AfriCROWD Juneteenth Wiki Civil Rights Conference of 2020.
- The experience of WikiGap and WikiForHumanRights.
- Visible Wikiwomen Community Meetup: how far we have come, what future we want to build together.
- Art+Feminism: Beyond the Editathon.
- WikiFemales - To exceed geographic border.
- Preventing Misinformation during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Neat and Tidy - Data Quality on Wikipedia.
The Remo platform was not user friendly because it was hard to navigate to various buildings and rooms and it consumed a lot of internet data. Hence, it was not able to join via the platform and rather resorted to using the YouTube.
From attending the above sessions, it was able to learn the following:
- Wiki Loves Butterfly.
- Women human rights defenders (WHRDs) face attacks for being women and girls on Wikipedia; existence of the challenging gender norms when they (WHRDs) speak; gendered and sexualized attacks; central contributions and work done often go unnoticed; there is alot of work that needs to be done toc challenge stereotypes to improve inclusivity on Wikipedia; and the need to work on missing women human rights defenders on Wikipedia.
- The important role women in Agriculture plays.
- Think of how we can structure knowledge and generate it to create the change we want to see on Wikipedia.
- Wikipedia being a global public good, however it is challenging to get free knowledge to people who want and need it.
- Organizations such as FAO have Open Access Policy.
- Access to information and education is a human right because human right and environment have a close link since access to food, clean environment is a human right.
- Wikipedia is a civic space where people can contribute global knowledge and exchange ideas on issues tp push their rights and contribute to environment for action.
- Data quality matters on Wikipedia because Wikidata is a central piece of infrastructure in today's world.
I would recommend the following to improve Wikimedia Community User Group in Africa and the diaspora:
- Have new comers of the year for each community user group.
- Need stronger collaborations and getting involved to know the reasons why we do what we do so that we do it better, for example how do we work better with missing women on Wikipedia to improve African women visibility on Wikipedia.
- There is need to start recognising women representation in Agriculture during WikiGap, women being the main contributors to agricultural sector in Uganda
- Set up exchanges and collaborations among African Wikimedians.
Since, i didn't join via the main Remo platform, i didn't make alot of connections, however i was able to know so many Wikimedians who hosted or spoke during the various sessions at Wikimania 2021. I was also able to network with many Wikimedians through Twitter such as Amir Aharoni; Gereon Kalkuhl; Ashlesh Birdadar; Rosie Stephenson, etc. who were also part of Wikimania 2021.
I felt challenged especially during the Wikimedia of the year sessions of how Wikimedians could quickly create WikiData. As a result of this, i challenged myself to at least write an article per week on Wikipedia and i have written my first article already below: