The club is inspired of a broader project, Write for the Rights, which is an international project that aims to mobilize Wikimedians from all the world but mostly from African and Arab countries or their diaspora, to enrich Wikipedia content related to LGBTQI+ topics, in the languages of these countries. After two successful regional events in Tunis and in Marseille, we decided to go more local and focus on the small communities of every city in Tunisia as a start. That's why we started the Zarafettes Wikipedia club in collaboration with Mawjoudin.
Zarafette (Arabic: زرافات) is an Arabic word that means "girafs", the main mascot of Mawjoudin, and here "Zarafettes Wikipedia" is a Tunisian term that means "Wikipedia's girafs", or Wikipedia's queer and queer-friendly people. This name was given by the members of the trainings themselves.
- Create a consistent local community of queer and queer friendly Wikimedians in Tunisia
- Improving LGBT+ content in the main three languages used in the country: Arabic, French and English
- Introducing the local community to the international Wikimedia LGBT+ community and then to the whole movement community
- Introduce the members to the resources available by the Wikimedia Foundation, the user group and all the other affiliates
Even though the club's name is Zarafettes Wikipedia, our community is working on many of the Wikimedia online projects with a focus on:
- Wikipedia in the main three languages used in Tunisia (Arabic, French and English)
- Wiktionary: gender identity terms especially in Arabic
- Wikivoyage: promote queer local activities and queer friendly places for locals and visitors
- Wikimedia Commons
- Transtyx: in French
- Chouf Minorities: in English
- Mawjoudin: in English
- Recognition of same-sex unions in Africa: in Arabic
- Upon the Shadow: in Arabic and French
- Khookha McQueer : in French
- Sadok Bey: in Arabic, French and English
- LGBT rights in Tunisia: Arabic, French and English
- Transgender : in Arabic
Thanks to Mawjoudin's network, we have now active members who organize their own workshops in several cities. So far, we held IRL events in both Tunis and Sousse (this one covers both Sousse and Monastir regions). Future events are planned for both Bizerte and Sfax (they were delayed because of the Coronavirus crisis).
The main criteria is to join the club is to be a queer or queer-friendly person. So far, we are around 15 participants with very different gender identities, coming mainly from Tunisia, but also we have some remote participants from Algeria, Lebanon and Palestine.
In order to ensure a safe space for all of the members, every person who attends our events must accept to follow our friendly space policy. Also for security reasons, no photos or real identity information will be shared on any of the Wikimedia projects or other related channel without the consent of the person.
User Kawayashu from Wikimedia LGBT+ is in charge of the logistic coordination with the volunteers of Mawjoudin.
Most of the workshops dates are announced via posts on Mawjoudin's official communication channels. Also, results of the activities and workshops open for internationals to join can be found via Wikimedia LGBT+ social media channels.
This is an agenda for the activities that have been held so far:
- Tunis, 17th of February: ABCs of Wikipedia
- Tunis, 18th of February: Wikimedia Commons: Licenses and media
- Tunis, 26th of February: Writing session
- Sousse, 1st of March: ABCs of Wikipedia
- Online, 6th of April: Writing session
- Online, 10th of April: Let's take it regional. In this workshop, we had participants from Lebanon and Algeria with us as well. The meeting was mainly about the exchange and the talk. Participants shared their own experience and talked about activism in their own communities.
- Online, 13th of April: Wiktionary
- Online, 17th of April: Wiktionary + Exchange with a fellow Wikimedian from Palestine
- Online, 23rd of April: Queer cinema in Tunisia
- Online, 26th of April: About licences and public domain.
Please feel free to suggest books that can help us in our work. This is a list of what we have so far:
- Lella Kmar
- Article 230 : une histoire de la criminalisation de l'homosexualité en Tunisie
- The gender dictionnary by Lebanon support
- The gender dictionnary by Damj Organization
- The media guide for gender topics by Al Qaws organization
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