Photographic competition adds immeasurably to understanding of Africa on Wikipedia
Cape Town, 9th November 2015
Since the 1st of October, photographers and Wikipedians (experienced and new) have been contributing their impressions of the inspirational design from Africa and expressing the influence of culture on day-to-day fashion and decorative and functional accessories and adornment by entering photographs in the Wiki Loves Africa competition.
There are now 2 weeks left until the competition closes for another year. The contest runs from the 1st October to the 30th November 2015 and entries are welcome from anywhere on the continent and beyond. Mid-way through the contest there has been over 3 791 entries from 505 participants in 44 countries. To encourage contribution, eight teams from across Africa have been hosting upload, wikithon and Wiki Takes … (a themed photo tour) events in various capital cities.
These events are being hosted by groups of volunteers in Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Nigeria, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda. Each photographic entry is a contribution to a global understanding of Africa’s cultural diversity by representing its many styles, influences, fashion innovations and the extraordinary capacity for design.
The joy of this competition is that the results are not just going to be shared among its enthusiasts or in a gallery somewhere, but with the roughly 18.5 billion monthly readers of Wikipedia and its related projects across the world. Each image will be considered, and many will be used to illustrate and bring to life relevant articles on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.
In this way the global understanding of the vast continent of Africa and its many stories and intricacies are deepened. It is too early to tell what images from this year’s Wiki Loves Africa are going to be used within Wikipedia. However in 2014, 589 images that related to the theme of Cuisine were used across 56 wikipedia projects with one image being used in 37 different projects alone.
The images from the competition inspired 2 wikibooks that form the Mujje Tulye Come to Eat collection. The Wiki Loves Africa competition encourages participants to contribute media – photographs, video or audio – that illustrates a theme chosen by Wikipedia volunteers across Africa.
The theme changes each year to cover a universal, visually rich and culturally specific topic (for example, markets, rites of passage, festivals, public art, cuisine, natural history, urbanity, daily life, notable persons, etc). In 2015 Africa’s Wikipedia volunteers chose the theme Cultural Fashion and Adornment.
The competition encourages media that represents cultural dress, fashion and a diversity of adornment. Cultural fashion has been defined as clothing and body wear that presents local cultural influences and is determined by cloth, styles, ways of wrapping and hanging, etc.
This theme also includes adornment, which is represented by culturally defined jewellery, make-up, hairstyles, tattoos and scarification, cloths and woven materials. The Wiki Loves Africa team has set up a campaign on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to encourage the larger community of Wikipedia editors and readers both in Africa and beyond to get involved by donating what they want towards the competition’s prizes. To ensure quality images we need to attract Africa’s best professional and amateur photographers with quality prizes.
The competition was conceptualised by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood as a fun and engaging way to rebalance the amount of visual representations and relevant content that exists about Africa on Wikipedia. The international Wiki Loves Africa competition is organised by the Wikimedia community that created Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia, and built the free media archive Wikimedia Commons. Wiki Loves Africa is supported by WikiAfrica at the Africa Centre and is funded by the Wikimedia Foundation and local supporters in individual countries.
### Useful links:
A showcase of this year’s photographic entries: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Images_from_Wiki_Loves_Africa_2015_showcase crowdfunding campaign:
The winning photos from Wiki Loves Africa 2014: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wiki_Loves_Africa_2014/Winners 1st prize: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nutmeg_ready.jpg 2nd prize: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Egyptian_Grains.jpg 3rd prize: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Girls_cleaning_coffee.JPG Community Prize: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kisra_maker.jpeg
Media release by the Africa Centre
For media queries contact:
English: Isla Haddow-Flood
Cell: +27 71 491 4101
Tel: +27 21 418 3336
Email: islahf @ africacentre.net
French: Florence Devouard
Cell: +33 645 60 62 77
Email: fdevouard @ kumusha.org
NOTES FOR THE EDITOR:
Steps to enter Wiki Loves Africa Entering Wiki Loves Africa Cultural Fashion and Adornment is easy!
Follow these 4 steps:
Step 1: Take some photos.
Step 2: Select the best.
Step 3: Create an account on Commons to take part. Register here.
Step 4: Use the Upload Wizard to enter the photographs.
The Competition Rules are: Images submitted to the Wiki Loves Africa contest may win prizes! There are a few rules to respect for the images to be eligible.
Rule 1: All photos must be taken by the person submitting them. They can be either self-uploaded or uploaded during a registered mass upload session.
Rule 2: Upload can only be done in October and November 2015. But you can enter media that was taken at any time, even historical photographs (as long as you own the copyright on these photographs).
Rule 3: Images must be free of watermarks or embedded signatures to be eligible. All entries will automatically be submitted under a free licence such as Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 (CC-BY-SA 4.0) (or in the public domain). Read more about the cc-by-sa license here.
Rule 4: All eligible pictures will be categorised under Images from Wiki Loves Africa 2015, this will be automatically assigned during the upload process.
Rule 5: Participants should enable e-mail on Wikimedia Commons so they can be contacted should their image be chosen for a prize.
The prizes for the competition are:
1st prize: a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 + an Africa-published book + Mystery gifts from the Wikimedia Store + print of the participant winning picture
2nd prize: US$300 Amazon gift + an Africa-published book + Mystery gifts from the Wikimedia Store + print of the 2nd prize picture
3rd prize: US$200 Amazon gift + an Africa-published book + Mystery gifts from the Wikimedia Store + print of the 3rd prize picture Community Prize: US$200 Amazon gift voucher + an Africa-published book + Mystery gifts from the Wikimedia Store + print of the Community Prize Local Organising Teams To see what’s going locally and to contact the teams, please click here. About WikiAfrica The WikiAfrica project is an international collaboration that redresses the imbalance of factual heritage and cultural knowledge about Africa on Wikipedia by promoting a new approach to knowledge that is fully-inclusive, mainstream and intercultural. Its mission is to assist and support the growth of Wikipedia as a free and open encyclopaedia that provides greater access to Africa’s wealth of contemporary and historical realities. www.wikiafrica.net About the Wikimedia Foundation The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is the nonprofit charitable organisation that is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, a top-ten internet property. https://wikimediafoundation.org About the Africa Centre The Africa Centre is both a physical entity and ongoing philosophical journey that explores how Pan-African cultural practice can be a catalyst for social change. The Africa Centre operates in the belief that creativity and innovation are powerful tools that: manifest what otherwise would only sit in our imaginations; release new ideas and make them freely accessible; and ensure that people living on this soil can define for themselves what is possible and what their reality looks like. These beliefs are brought to life through a range of programmes in various countries as well as online. Current programmes include the Artists in Residency, Badilisha Poetry X-Change, Everyday African Urbanism, Infecting The City, Talking Heads, and WikiAfrica. All of the projects celebrate and explore what it means to be in Africa today and what is conceivable for 21st-century Africans.