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The Power of Wikipedia (draft)
 

The Power of Wikipedia (draft)

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A presentation which focuses on the power of Wikipedia and the issues of legitimacy and territorial control related to it. It looks at Wikipedia from a geopolitical perspective and it is based on the ...

A presentation which focuses on the power of Wikipedia and the issues of legitimacy and territorial control related to it. It looks at Wikipedia from a geopolitical perspective and it is based on the experience of the projects WikiAfrica (2006-2012) and Share Your Knowledge (2011-2012). The aim of the presentation is to specifically refer to 1. the offline fallout of Wikipedia and its nationalism; 2. how the offline fallout has been reinforced by the growing number of institutions interested in collaborating with Wikipedia (the so-called GLAMs) and 3. the relevance of Africa within this discourse.

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  • English editing missing. In the last page I need to replace the word 'bibliography' with 'references' and adding the artworks. I should add the expression 'geriatric hierarchy' and some better references to African projects, conferences, working groups (maybe a short history on it). Among the documentation currently missing the project promoted by Wikimedia Israel and the Africa Center at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev (http://wikimania2011.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/Going_to_Africa); The Africa Project https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/The_Africa_Project (2007 proposal); Growing Wikimedia in Developing Nations https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Growing_Wikimedia_in_Developing_Nations; Glam/Batak https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Glam/Batak (2011-2012); Conference reports/FLOSS, South Africa 2005/Workshop 1 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Conference_reports/FLOSS,_South_Africa_2005/Workshop_1; French-speaking Africa (stub) https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/French-speaking_Africa.
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    The Power of Wikipedia (draft) The Power of Wikipedia (draft) Presentation Transcript

    • The Power of Wikipedia Legitimacy and Territorial ControlIolanda Pensa, Scientific director WikiAfrica/Share Your Knowledge for lettera27 FoundationMember of Wikimedia Italia and Wikimedia CHio@pensa.it http://io.pensa.itMilano, March 2012This presentation focuses on the power of Wikipedia and the issues of legitimacy and territorial control related to it. It looks at Wikipedia from a geopolitical perspective and it is based on theexperience of the projects WikiAfrica (2006-2012) and Share Your Knowledge (2011-2012). The aim of the presentation is to specifically refer to 1. the offline fallout of Wikipedia and itsnationalism; 2. how the offline fallout has been reinforced by the growing number of institutions interested in collaborating with Wikipedia (the so-called GLAMs) and 3. the relevance of Africawithin this discourse.Please note that the artworks included are considered first sources; many artists have worked on the concepts I am interested in focusing on and they have expressed them in a very sharp way.Keywords: Wikipedia, Africa, GLAMs, offline power, legitimacy, control, geography, nationalism, WikiAfrica, Share Your Knowledge.
    • © Jane Alexander, Courtesy Africa Screams,Vienna, 2004.Wikipedia[1] seems to ignore half a century of studies and debates about identity, esotism, otherness and eurocentrism[2].[1] Referring to Wikipedia does not mean to refer to Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia chapters or Wikimedia projects; it means to refer simultaneously to the online and offline power of Wikipedia. The focus on Wikipedia allows to avoid trapping thediscourse within the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia chapters dichotomy, and to concentrate the focus on what and who Wikipedia is, represents and involves. At the moment systems of authority have been observed in the online communitydynamics (Mathieu ONeil, Cyberchiefs: autonomy and authority in online tribes, Pluto Press, 2009) and there have been studies related to the history and the organizational chart of Wikimedia Foundation (Mayo Fuster Morell in Critical Point of View: AWikipedia Reader, 2011, pp. 325-341).[2] I specifically refer to the contribution of anthropology, visual culture, art theory, architecture and urban planning in the redefinition of the concept of territory and knowledge which I believe can provide an important insight for the way Wikipedia ismanaged by the community online and offline. Issues of territorial control (geography) and legitimacy (entitlement) are also part of the discussion within Wikimedia, but I do feel that there are many elements of a broader discourse missing, https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_and_Funds_Dissemination and to Stu West, RfC: Geography and Wikimedia in WikiStu, 04/01/2012 http://wikistu.org/2012/01/rfc-geography-and-wikimedia. I would like in particular to stress the importance ofRasheed Araeen’s concept of rewriting history in observing Wikipedia online and offline (Rasheed Araeen, The other story: Afro-Asian artists in post-war Britain, Hayward Gallery, London, 1989).
    • © Laboratoire Sculpture Urbaine (with William Kentridge), Répliques, Alger, 2003. Courtesy Laboratoire Sculpture Urbaine.The geopolitical map of the world with the ending of colonialism and its new forms, the growing mobility and the transformation of society have produced studies and a desire of renegotiatingwords[1].[1] Magazines had and have a major role in implementing this approach and disseminating those studies. Chimurenga Library (http://www.chimurengalibrary.co.za), “Chimurenga” (http://www.chimurenga.co.za), “Third Text” (http://www.thirdtext.com) with“Third Text Africa” (in partnership with ASAI), “Third Text Asia” and “Tercer Texto”. The exhibition Mutations (Rem Koolhaas and Harvard project on the city, Stefano Boeri and Multiplicity, Sanford Kwinter, Nadia Tanzi and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Mutations,Actar Editorial, 2000) is considered a reference in experimenting new ways of documenting and interpreting territories and society.
    • © Marcela Moraga, When I was of Colour, Cuba, 2001, photo PVC 200x150cm. Cairo International Biennale 2001.As post-independence and colonial nations, today most powerful encyclopaedia and knowledge distributing system acts in the same way as post-independence and colonial nations did: itfocuses its geopolitical approach on nation building.
    • © Samuel Fosso, La Femme américaine libérée des années 70, Série Tati, autoportrait I-V, 1997, coloured photography. In Africa Remix, p. 124.Language is a central aspect of nation building and it is an essential space for the definition, affirmation and construction of borders and identities[1]. The emphasis Wikipedia puts ondeveloping Wikipedia editions in local languages[2] underestimates the meaning and the implications of this process[3].[1] Wikipedia has currently 284 linguistic editions, (Wikipedia contributors, "Wikipedia," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia&oldid=484508704 accessed March 29, 2012). The Wikimedia incubator is aspace for developing new linguistic editions http://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/Incubator:Wikis. To have an overview on the discussions related to African languages it is useful to refer to literature festivals such as Colloque international: Aires Culturelleset Créations Littéraire en Afrique, Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines du Sénégal, 1990.[2] Wikipedia linguistic editions are perceived as a tool to reinforce local participation or to preserve linguistic heritage and diversity. For African languages please ref. for example WikiAfrica project (http://www.wikiafrica.it/wiki/Babel/Lingue); FlorenceDevouard, Wikimedia projects in the developing countries, Wikimania 2005, abstract http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania05/Presentation-FD1 and slides http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/meta/f/f4/Wikimedia_in_the_developing_world_-_Anthere_-_Wikimania2005.pdf; Wikipedia Academy in South Africa 2007 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Wikipedia_Academies.[3] A very clear example of the political and intellectual role of languages is offered by Wikimedia CAT (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_CAT). Languages have of course represented a central part of colonial history; it is useful to mention in thisregard the two different British and French colonial approach, which can be summarised as a multicultural and multilinguistic approach on one side, and the assimilation on the other side. Regarding Africa, the political attention on languages developedby the South African government at the end of apartheid (with the concept of rainbow nation developed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu) have been supported within the Wikimedia Academy in South Africa and it has become a reference for thedevelopment of Wikipedia local editions in all Africa, without taking into consideration the very different situations of each country (i.e. number of languages, history and historiography of these languages, national languages and their use in schools).
    • © Maha Maamoun, Going Places: A Project for Public Busses, Le Caire, 2003-2004.The identification of monuments, heritage and landmarks is another important dynamic of nation and history building[1], which Wikipedia is reinforcing[2].[1] A very interesting essay on the role of cultural heritage on nation building is François Matarasso, History Defaced: Heritage creation in contemporary Europe, Genoa, 19 November 2004. Categories and the way the chapters of schoolbooks areorganized are an essential tool to build identities; the essay by Maja van der Velden presents three examples on the impact of taxonomies on knowledge (Maja van der Velden, When Knowledges Meet: Wikipedia and Other Stories from the ContactZone in Critical Point of View: A Wikipedia Reader, 2011, pp. 236-257).[2] Wiki Loves Monuments 2011 European contest http://www.wikilovesmonuments.eu and Wiki takes your city http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Takes_Your_City are focussed on national cultural heritage and landmarks.
    • © Mounir Fatmi, Sortir de lhistoire, 2005-2006, cassettes VHS, photos, sons et vidéo.Schoolbooks have a determinant role in educating nations and creating a common history[1]. Wikipedia is our today world schoolbook, but distributing offline editions of Wikipedia[2]completely reinterprets the very concept of a free encyclopaedia anyone can edit.[1] Chimurenga Vol. 15, The Curriculum is Everything, May 2010 http://www.chimurenga.co.za/products/chimurenga-15-the-curriculum-is-everything-2.[2] Please refer for example to the project for Kenyan Schools, http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Kenya/Project_for_Kenyan_Schools and to Wikimedia France project in francophone Africa http://www.wikimedia.fr/programmes-2012#Francophonie.[3] The development of new tools for facilitating Wikipedia editing are at the centre of attention, in particular mobile applications; it is important in this regard to mention the partnership in Africa and Middle East between Wikimedia Foundation and themobile phone company Orange to provide mobile phone access to Wikipedia for free (Kul Wadhwa, Free mobile for Wikipedia starts with Orange, 24/01/2012, http://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/01/24/free-mobile-for-wikipedia-starts-with-orange/). Therehave been also discussions about the possibility of offline editing of Wikipedia. Kiwix is a specific project related to offline distribution of Wikipedia http://www.kiwix.org.
    • Help and Global Relief for the Katrina Disaster. © US pavilion, Biennale dellarchitettura di Venezia, 2004.Wikimedia Foundation is based in the US and it is regularly accused to impose a US-centric cultural model[1]. Wikipedia in English is the largest Wikipedia version and it is permanentlydistancing all other linguistic editions[2].[1] Wikimedia Foundation is a growing organisation employing an international staff based in the US and outside the US with the possibility of involving volunteers and fellows. Also Wikimedia Board and Advisory Board involve members coming fromdifferent countries and areas of the world. Wikimedia has the necessity to state very clearly its Pluralism, internationalism, and diversity policy (http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Pluralism,_internationalism,_and_diversity_policy).[2] http://stats.wikimedia.org/wikimedia/animations/growth/AnimationProjectsGrowthWp.html. As an example of the debate related to English predominance please refer to Iberocoop presentation at Wikimania 2011 (Iberocoop: Regional cooperation inaction, Wikimania 2011, Haifa, 2011, http://wikimania2011.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/Iberocoop:_Regional_cooperation_in_action); it is also very relevant the essay by Heather Ford on notability and motivations to contribute to Wikipedia in Englishfrom the example of ‘Makmende’ article (Heather Ford, The Missing Wikipedians in Critical Point of View: A Wikipedia Reader, 2011, pp. 258-268).
    • © Mounir Fatmi, G8 Les balais, 2004, installation.Those predominances generate power tensions and they nourish nationalist approaches.
    • © Antonio Scarponi, Human Camouflage, 2003. Premio Cenacolo, Milan. Courtesy Conceptual Devices. The pattern is made of countries proportional to their population; their colour is a sample of the State Heads complexion, and the geographical shapes are then ‘casually’ assembled one next to the other.Wikipedia can speak with governments[1] and negotiate with them[2]; speaking on behalf of Wikipedia means to speak with the power of a nation. Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia Foundation andWikimedia chapters do not represent Wikipedia but – as a matter of fact – they speak on behalf of it. The legitimacy of their role is permanently under discussion, but it is recognised bythemselves, the press, national governments and the GLAMs[3].[1] Wikimedia UK November 2011 Report, http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Reports/2011/November.[2] Ref. Wikipedia in Italian strike in 2011. Jimmy Wales enjoyed the initiative and it pointed at it as model which can be and it has been replicated. Press release Wikipedia blackout supports free and open internet, 2012, http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Wikipedia_blackout_supports_free_and_open_internet.[3] The Project GLAM has been initiated with a strong link to Wikimedia local chapters; contact points are distributed territorially and they mainly involve members of Wikimedia chapters, http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM/Contact_us. According todiscussion and project sub-pages linked to specific institutions, the Project GLAM has received a strong support more from chapters than from volunteers.
    • © Tsesler & Voichenko, Tank, Minsk, 2002, object.The success of 2010 fundraising campaign[1] has further reinforced tensions[2].[1] Half a Million People Donate to Keep Wikipedia Free, 01/01/2011, http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Half_a_Million_People_Donate_to_Keep_Wikipedia_Free.[2] For an overview of the discussion please refer to https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_and_Funds_Dissemination.
    • © Basim Magdy, Superman Will Save Us All in Going Places: A Project for Public Busses, Cairo, 2003-2004.Wikimedia chapters[1] claim their role in providing a more balanced cultural approach and in managing decentralised outreached programmes[2]. In reality the fundraising campaign mirrorslast century geopolitics with the US and few European countries sharing the cake; Switzerland with a rather independent position and Italy unable to keep a proper slice[3].[1] Wikimedia chapters are currently associated to nations, through their name and through the focus of their activities. Wikimedia chapters have different legal status, but they are not public institutions; their national legitimacy is linked to the territory theyare freely referring to.[2] Ref. Wikimedia France programme in Africa http://www.wikimedia.fr/programmes-2012; Wikimedia UK 2012 programme including the involving minority ethnic or linguistic community in the UK http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/2012_Activity_Plan; WikimediaDE Wikimedia’s culture of sharing, Meta contributors, "Fundraising and Funds Dissemination/Wikimedia’s culture of sharing," Meta, discussion about Wikimedia projects, http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fundraising_and_Funds_Dissemination/Wikimedia%E2%80%99s_culture_of_sharing&oldid=3589468 (accessed March 27, 2012) and specifically https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_and_Funds_Dissemination/Wikimedia’s_culture_of_sharing#Collective_self-empowerment:_how_to_bridge_the_Digital_Divide and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_and_Funds_Dissemination/Wikimedia’s_culture_of_sharing#Five:_positive_emulation.[3] In 2011 Wikimedia Foundation managed the fundraising with the Wikimedia chapters Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsYxO0Je1DGRdHZQMW53X2xSMm5JaWc4ZWNseU9uemc&hl=en_US#gid=0 and Fundraising 2010 report https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_2010/Report).
    • © Iman Issa, Going Places: A Project for Public Busses, Cairo, 2003. Collage with wallpaper and photography.The growing number of institutions willing to contribute to Wikimedia projects[1] – even in countries without Wikimedia Chapters[2] – is making issues of legitimacy and territorial controlbecoming more evident. The collaboration between institutions and Wikipedia poses new challenges.[1] http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM/Case_studies. WikiAfrica is currently involving 55 institutions http://lettera27.org/index.php?idlanguage=1&zone=9&idprj=47[2] It is also the case of the US where Wikimedia Foundation is based but where there is not one Wikipedia chapter or chapters in all states (Chapter Wikimedia District of Columbia and Wikimedia New York City); for this there is currently a discussionabout how to develop the project GLAM further in the US.
    • © Tsesler & Voichenko, Bust, Minsk, 2002, poster.Institutions can not edit Wikipedia or the Wikimedia projects as institutions[1], and they usually ask for someone who can present and represent Wikipedia[2].[1] Wikipedia:GLAM getting started: Getting Started for GLAMs, Edit as yourself, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:GLAM_getting_started&oldid=477561021.[2] “[...] If you do not have a local Wikimedia Chapter or Wikimedian, email the team at glamwikimedia.org where you will be put in touch with the right people”, http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM/Contact_us.
    • Structure of the Venice Biennale of Art 2005, Iolanda Pensa & Federica Verona, CC by-sa. The Biennale is structured in national pavilions and an international exhibition. The national pavilions comes from the model of the international world exhibitions of the XIX century.At the moment the project GLAM is managed on a territorial basis[1]. Wikimedia chapters have a major role in facilitating collaborations at a national and local level, and several chaptershave recognised in this project a very interesting working direction which allows them to position themselves with a specific national role and to develop further their legitimacy both outsideand inside their organisation[2].[1] The institutions collaborating with Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects are listened in order of continent, Outreach Wiki contributors, "GLAM/Contact us," Outreach Wiki, http://outreach.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=GLAM/Contact_us&oldid=30681 (accessed March 29, 2012).The GLAM monthly newsletter (http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM/Newsletter) is organised by country with some growing exceptions (Wiki Loves Monuments, Open access report, Tool testingreport and Africa).[2] Among the chapters actively involved in the GLAM project there are the France, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Serbia, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, Israel, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, India. The case of Wikimedia Italy is quitepeculiar; lettera27 with the project Share Your Knowledge (within which Wikimedia Italy is a partner) has created the project GLAM in Italy and it is contributing to it (Collaborazione al progetto "GLAM" allinterno di "Share Your Knowledge", Boarddecision and general assembly ratification, 2011).
    • @ Yinka Shonibare, Scramble for Africa, 2000, 14 chairs, 14 figures, table in Looking Both Ways: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora, 2003. Commissioned by and courtesy Museum for African Art NY.But who are the chapters working for[1]? How are the Wikimedia chapters defining the institutions they collaborate with[2]? Who defines GLAMs “ambassadors”[3] and “Wikipedian inresidence”[4]?[1] The target is unclear and it includes association members, wikipedianias, the Wikimedia community, donors, institutions, national public, Wikimedia Foundation, their nation.[2] At the moment wikipedians tend to address institutions they know or they are interested in; chapters tend to focus on major national public institutions.[3] The word “ambassador” is specifically used within the Wikipedia Education Program http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ambassadors and http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Ambassador_Program; there are also Certified WikipediaAmbassador http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Certified_Wikipedia_Ambassador. The word has been used also to define a person which facilitate the partnerships between GLAMs and Wikimedia projects http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM/Ambassador_register.[4] http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence.
    • Internet Map, ChrisHarrison.net.The most common way of imagining the world is to condemn it to a binary logic: on/off, centre/periphery, Western/non-Western, modern/traditional, North/South, Global South/Global North,we/they, us/the others.
    • © Iman Issa, Going Places: A Project for Public Busses, Cairo, 2003. Collage with wallpaper and photography.The reality is that nations and territories are extremely imaginative[1]. Complexity, ambiguity and links are not an optional part of the world we live in[2].[1] Edward Said, Orientalism, Vintage Books, 1978; V.Y. Mudimbe, The idea of Africa, Indiana University Press, 1994; the perception of landscape is also at the centre of the European Landscape Convention, 2000.[2] Nassim N. Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Random House & Allen Lane, 2007.
    • Kai Krause, The True Size of Africa, PD.Africa is a big issue. The current presence of two approved Wikimedia chapters[1] and of three chapters in discussion[2] do not properly portraits on a middle-long term what the Africancontribution to Wikipedia means. Models of cooperation in Africa have always been under discussion, but the growing presence of Chinese investors has rises n the last decades morequestions about which are the “right” models[3].[1] Wikimedia Kenya (http://wikimedia.or.ke) and Wikimedia South Africa (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_South_Africa).[2] Current chapters in discussion http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters#In_Africa.[3] Serge Michel, Michel Beuret, Paolo Woods, China Safari: On the Trail of Beijings Expansion in Africa, Nation Books, 2010.
    • © Ingrid Mwangi, Static Drift, 2001. Courtesy Looking Both Ways, 2004-2006.Not only Africa is a big issue but its size go beyond the homonymous continent. As Pan-Africanism and post-colonial studies help us to understand[1], the relevance of Africa needs to beapprehended as an international issue, which relates to people, history and knowledge[2]. In the Fifties African nations needed to claim their legitimacy within and against colonialism, todayare the very concepts of territory which need continuously to be reset.[1] Please refer in particular to the work of Homi K. Bhabha (Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture, Routledge, 1994), Arjun Appadurai (Arjun Appadurai, Modernity At Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, U of Minnesota Press, 1996) andSarat Maharaj(Sarat Maharaj, Xeno-Epistemics: Makeshift Kit for Sounding Visual Art as Knowledge Production and the Retinal Regimes in Documenta 1 Platform 5: Exhibition, (dir.) Okwui Enwezor, Hatje Cantz Publishers, Ostfildern-Ruit, 2002, pp. 71-72). It is alsoimportant to mention the anthropological approach of James Clifford (James Clifford, The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth Century Ethnography, Literature and Art, Harvard University Press, 1988) and the work as a curator of Tirdad Zolghadr (TirdadZolghadr, Multiculturalism is Better than Monoculturalism; Postcolonialism is Better than Colonialism. Rejoicing in a Fiesta of Tough Choices in A Fiesta of Tough Choices: Contemporary Art in the Wake of Cultural Policies, Torpedo Press, Oslo 2007).[2] It is somehow the approach proposed by Saskia Sassen on global cities observed as a territory which goes beyond the city itself and connects to the world, Saskia Sassen, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, Princeton University Press, 1991.
    • Wikipedia. © & ™ All rights reserved, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.The idea of free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit[1] is inclusive and dynamic, even if the very concept of an encyclopaedia can be questioned as a XVIII century European child[2]. The 5pillars – the fundamental principals beyond Wikipedia – emphasise its role as a reference, the respect for sources and for the community and the acknowledgement that mistakes are part ofthe process[3].[1] Wikipedia payoff on its main page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page.[2] Mobile A2K: Resources, Interfaces and Contents on Urban Transformations, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, october 2009.[3] The 5 pillars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:5P) are: Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, it is written from a neutral point of view, it is free content that anyone can edit, use, modify, and distribute; editors should interact with each other in arespectful and civil manner and Wikipedia does not have firm rules.
    • @ Yinka Shonibare, Diary of a Victorian Dandy: 14.000 hours in “Revue Noire” Nigeria, n.30, 1998, p. 63 and front cover of Reading the Contemporary: African Art from Theory to the Marketplace, MIT Press, 1999.The five pillar of Wikipedia represent a new and important frame to build and negotiate knowledge and history[1]. I specifically refer to the devastating impact of XIX and XX centuryanthropological studies on African history, with the construction of ethnographic groups and its racial ideology; this knowledge on Wikipedia can be reframed through an historiographicapproach, it can be contextualized and presented within the critical discourse[2]. At the moment this is not the case: XIX and XX century anthropological studies are on public domain,represent on Wikipedia the mainstream knowledge[3], they are exported on Wikipedia offline editions and they are translated into “local languages” with the support of specific Wikimediaprojects.[1] This is Rasheed Araeen’s concept of rewriting history which differs from the idea that African history has to be written by Africans (ref. Olu Oguibe). According to Rasheed Araeen, history needs to be negotiate and built as a common history and it is acommon and joint responsibility (Rasheed Araeen in Mobile A2K, Festivaletteratura, Manua, 2010).[2] The critical resource is specifically related to half a century of studies and debates about identity, esotism, otherness and eurocentrism.[3] List of African ethnic groups on Wikipedia in English http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African_ethnic_groups. Please note the lack of historiographic information; the ethnic groups are presented as an objective entity. It is also interesting to observethe description of Ethnic groups within demographic articles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_France#Ethnic_groups.
    • © Meshac Gaba, Museum Shop, 2002. Photo © Martina Poiana.Another way to allow African knowledge to be included on Wikipedia is to acknowledge already existing contents (texts, images, collections) which are not only in Africa. The involvement ofGLAMs and the use of open licenses on their documentation[1] allow to acknowledge already existing sources, to bridge the last mile and to allow contents to be used beyond Wikipedia[2];but the involvement of GLAMs on African related contents seems to collapse with the territorial management of the project GLAM and with the unintentional nationalism of Wikimediachapters. In other words it is difficult for Wikimedia Canada to focus on African contents, even if those are perfectly Canadian; within the current system it simply doesn’t seem logic orrelevant[3].[1] This is the procedure created and promoted by Share Your Knowledge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/en:Wikipedia:WikiAfrica/Share_Your_Knowledge.[2] Mark Graham, Wiki Space: Palimpsests and Politics of Exclusion in Critical Point of View: A Wikipedia Reader, 2011, pp. 269-282 is an essay focussed on the representation of geography on Wikipedia; the essay also states the influence ofgeographic imaginations in constitute and legitimate power relations (p. 271). I personally believe an historiographic approach can allow Wikipedia to offer a more balanced representation of the world; for this reason more sources are available, more therepresentation will acknowledge the complexity and the richness of geography, history and points of view. The problem is how to bridge the last mile and I think GLAMs and open licenses (PD and CC by-sa) offer an interesting solution. Those licensesallow contents to be uploaded on Wikipedia by anyone anywhere (bridging infrastructural and connectivity limits and issues related to skills to edit Wikipedia).[3] Wikimedia Italy, Serbia, Poland and Switzerland are currently supporting WikiAfrica; Wikimedia Canada is currently discussing a collaboration with the Royal Ontario Museum which has a major African collection. There are currently some discussionsbetween WikiAfrica, Wikimedia South Africa and Wikimedia Kenya. For some of the Wikimedia chapters we approached it was specifically disturbing to network with “external institutions” such as lettera27 Foundation and the Africa Centre; in particular itis questioned our legitimacy to approach GLAMs and invite them to contribute to Wikipedia and our legitimacy to operate in territories where there are already active Wikimedia chapters.
    • WikiAfrica[1] was launched in 2006 with the idea that Wikipedia perfectly represents what lettera27 Foundation considers access to knowledge and knowledge sharing. Based on the imageof La Palabre[2], the project was imagined as a tool to translate lettera27‘s mission, to foster the visibility of African knowledge, to promote African participation online, and to facilitate a newunderstanding of what literacy and education are today. Since its beginning the project was conceived as a collaborative project developed with Wikimedia Italia and open to all contributors,users and institutions.[1] WikiAfrica project on lettera27 Foundation website http://lettera27.org/index.php?idlanguage=1&zone=9&idprj=47[2] La Palabre is the tradition of discussing and negotiating in African societies (as Serge Latouche refers to it in Entre mondialisation et décroissance: lautre Afrique, À plus dun titre, 2008); Fréderique Keiff, Larbre à Palabres, Douala, 2007,commissioned by doual’art http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Larbre_à_Palabres.JPG.
    • Event: conference/training/workshopPresentations and eventsResearchArchivesNotebooks (Detour, myDetour, WikiAfrica special editions)Wiki Loves Monuments WikiAfrica 2006
    • Event: conference/training/workshopPresentations and eventsResearchArchivesNotebooks (Detour, myDetour, WikiAfrica special editions)Wiki Loves Monuments WikiAfrica 2007
    • Event: conference/training/workshopPresentations and eventsResearchArchivesNotebooks (Detour, myDetour, WikiAfrica special editions)Wiki Loves Monuments WikiAfrica 2008
    • Event: conference/training/workshopPresentations and eventsResearchArchivesNotebooks (Detour, myDetour, WikiAfrica special editions)Wiki Loves Monuments WikiAfrica 2009
    • Event: conference/training/workshopPresentations and eventsResearchArchivesNotebooks (Detour, myDetour, WikiAfrica special editions)Wiki Loves Monuments WikiAfrica 2010
    • Event: conference/training/workshopPresentations and eventsResearchArchivesNotebooks (Detour, myDetour, WikiAfrica special editions)Wiki Loves Monuments WikiAfrica 2011
    • Orange and Orange Foundation (free Wikipedia on mobile phones)Creative Commons affiliateEvent: conference/training/workshopPresentations and eventsResearchArchivesNotebooks (Detour, myDetour, WikiAfrica special editions)Wiki Loves Monuments WikiAfrica 2012 (in progress)
    • Share Your Knowledge[1] started in 2011 as part of WikiAfrica initiatives and as a consequence of lettera27 need to create metrics related to its work. To produce a quantitative impact onWikipedia and to associate this impact to WikiAfrica without branding people and the Wikimedia projects, the idea was to involve institutions. Content of institutions can be made availablewith a free license, it can be uploaded in the relevant Wikimedia projects and it is associated to the institution as a source. The system[2] – implemented by Share Your Knowledge – iscurrently allowing WikiAfrica to involve 55 international institutions.[1] Share Your Knowledge project on lettera27 website http://lettera27.org/index.php?idlanguage=1&zone=9&idprj=47.[2] The two phases procedure created by Share Your Knowledge is on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/en:Wikipedia:WikiAfrica/Share_Your_Knowledge.
    • DensityDesign Research Lab-INDACO Department Politecnico di Milano, Fondazione Cariplo on Wikipedia in Italian, 09/2011, CC BY-SA.
    • creative commons & wikipedia for cultural institutions period June July Augu September O ober November 1 jun-1oth nov 2011For this analysis we considered all new pages created from the beginning of the proje Share Yourk Knowledge until the 10th of November. For the Wikimedia contributions we considered all the pagescreated by the partner in itution in Italian and English during this period. contributions to wikipedia 459 articles s 860˙302 bytes One byte is a unit of orage capable of holding a single chara er. A text of 1500 chara ers corresponds to a file of 1500 bytes. contributions to wikimedia commons 2993 images s wikipedia templates Archivio Pietro Pensa Careof s Cosv Fe ival del Cinema Africano di Verona s Fe ival del Cinema Africano di Milano Fondazione Cariplo s Lettera27 Officina Griot s s Bytes added by m.Casanova and Marcok (Wikipedia’s tutors of the proje ) Bytes added by other users DensityDesign Research Lab-INDACO Department Politecnico di Milano, Share Your Knowledge, 11/2011, CC BY-SA.
    • © Maaria Wirkkala, Found a Mental Connection, 1998, installation. Courtesy Biennale di Venezia 2001.WikiAfrica and Share Your Knowledge are not exempt from issues of legitimacy and territorial control. The partnership with the Africa Centre based in Cape Town[1] and the attempt to createan international network of institutions[2] and Wikimedia chapters[3] are tentatives to respond to those issues. The Wikipedia evangelisation lettera27 has been supporting since 2006 hasalso raised reactions from institutions based in Africa[4].[1] From 2011 WikiAfrica is promoted by lettera27 and the Africa Centre. The Africa Centre has been supporting WikiAfrica with 70.000 euro and it is independent in developing its programme and initiatives. lettera27 and the Africa Centre have regularonline meetings on a monthly bases. In general the Africa Centre focuses on activities, partnerships and fundraising in Africa and lettera27 on activities, partnership and fundraising in Europe.[2] WikiAfrica is currently collaborating with 50 institutions based in Africa and Europe.[3] Within Wikimedia Foundation and chapters the reactions were very diverse: WikiAfrica was supported, ignored or perceived as a domino game played by an outsider.[4] La bibliothèque de Chimurenga in The Chimurenga Library: An Introspective of Chimurenga Magazine, Cape Town Platform, 2009, pp. 4-6.
    • © Tsesler & Voichenko, Welcome, Minsk, Road sign.Can Wikipedia online and offline become more inclusive? Can half a century of studies and debates about identity, esotism, otherness and eurocentrism be part of the conversation and beconsidered background knowledge? Is it possible to undermine Wikipedia tendency to nationalism?
    • © Diego Barajas, Dispersion, episode publishers, 2003. A research on global mobility and Cape Verdean transnational territory.Wikipedia in its offline management doesn’t have neither to build from scratches not to refer to well-known organisational models[1]; it can look for more innovative and functional systemswhich can contribute to its mission[2]. I believe it could be extremely healthy to focus on principals which can inform processes[3]. The five pillars Wikipedia is based on offer an existingmodel which can be reinterpreted for the offline work of Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia chapters and the community in general.[1] The Resource allocation models of international organizations provided within Wikimedia’s culture of sharing by Wikimedia DE are not necessarily the right models to look at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_and_Funds_Dissemination/Wikimedia’s_culture_of_sharing#Resource_allocation_models_of_international_organizations3.[2] Just to mention some example: Doen Foundation evaluation system within the Culture & Cohesion project (http://www.doen.nl); freeDimensional (http://freedimensional.org); the Africa Centre history with its 9 members reference group asked to imagethe possible shape of a museum and archive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africa_Centre).[3] At the moment emphasis is rather given to objectives (strategic priorities), activities, results and metrics (es. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/d/db/Wikimedia_Five-Year_Targets.pdf) rather than on what keeps the community togetheroffline.
    • © Tsesler & Voichenko, Minsk, 2002, object.The pillars could be related to 1. networking, 2. representing all points of view, 3. attribution and 4. stubs. 1. Networking is a simple dynamic which should not be optional; it goes beyondterritories, it is based on personal contacts and it tends to destroy criticism which is not that bad[1]; networking also means that Wikimedia chapters are encouraged to collaborate with otherinstitutions (GLAMs) and that institutions could become members of Wikimedia chapters. 2. Representing all points of view (content) is very different from and much better than Supportinghealthy diversity in the editing community (people). 3. Attribution should not be optional; it is not only part of a discourse about licenses but it is also what organizations of volunteers haveproblems in guaranteeing. 4. Stubs are what volunteer tend to produce (very valuable ideas, proposals, hints) and what an organization could and should help transforming into activities,projects and programs by supporting them.[1] Kati Morawek & Bear Weber, Economics of the Art System: The example of Documenta. The economics of Documenta are a prime example for the functioning of the art system. Our experiences as participants of the magazines project in "Malmoe",07/11/2007 and in "Documenta Magazines Online Journal.
    • Daddy Buy Me a Pony, Festive season greeting card, client Pro Helvetia, December 2003.I would like to conclude with a question: is everybody ok in creating articles for all cities, villages and populated areas in Africa in all 284 languages of Wikipedia?
    • Bibliography Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity At Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, U of Minnesota Press, 1996. Araeen, Rasheed. The other story: Afro-Asian artists in post-war Britain, Hayward Gallery, London, 1989. Araeen, Rasheed in Mobile A2K, Festivaletteratura, Manua, 2010. Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture, Routledge, 1994. Casanova, Michele. Report WikiAfrica/Share Your Knowledge, 2011-2012. Chemello, Marco. Report WikiAfrica/Share Your Knowledge, 2011-2012. Clifford, James. The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth Century Ethnography, Literature and Art, Harvard University Press, 1988 Devouard, Florence. Wikimedia projects in the developing countries, Wikimania 2005, abstract http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania05/Presentation-FD1 and slides http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/meta/f/ f4/Wikimedia_in_the_developing_world_-_Anthere_-_Wikimania2005.pdf. Ford, Heather. The Missing Wikipedians in Critical Point of View: A Wikipedia Reader, eds. Geert Lovink and Nathaniel Tkacz, Institute of Network Culture, Amsterdam, 2011, pp. 258-268. Fuster Morel, Mayo. The Wikimedia Foundation and the Governance of Wikipedias Infrastructure: Historical Trajectories and its Hybrid Character in Critical Point of View: A Wikipedia Reader, eds. Geert Lovink and Nathaniel Tkacz, Institute of Network Culture, Amsterdam, 2011, pp. 325-341. Graham, Mark. Wiki Space: Palimpsests and Politics of Exclusion in Critical Point of View: A Wikipedia Reader, eds. Geert Lovink and Nathaniel Tkacz, Institute of Network Culture, Amsterdam, 2011, pp. 269-282 Koolhaas, Rem and Harvard project on the city, Stefano Boeri and Multiplicity, Sanford Kwinter, Nadia Tanzi and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Mutations, Actar Editorial, 2000. Latouche, Serge. Entre mondialisation et décroissance: lautre Afrique, À plus dun titre, 2008. Maharaj, Sarat. Xeno-Epistemics: Makeshift Kit for Sounding Visual Art as Knowledge Production and the Retinal Regimes in Documenta 1 Platform 5: Exhibition, (dir.) Okwui Enwezor, Hatje Cantz Publishers, Ostfildern-Ruit, 2002, pp. 71-72. Matarasso, François. History Defaced: Heritage creation in contemporary Europe, Genoa, 19 November 2004. Michel, Serge, Michel Beuret, Paolo Woods, China Safari: On the Trail of Beijings Expansion in Africa, Nation Books, 2010. Morawek, Kati & Bear Weber. Economics of the Art System: The example of Documenta. The economics of Documenta are a prime example for the functioning of the art system. Our experiences as participants of the magazines project in "Malmoe", 07/11/2007 and in "Documenta Magazines Online Journal. ONeil, Mathieu. Cyberchiefs: autonomy and authority in online tribes, Pluto Press, 2009. Pensa, Iolanda. La bibliothèque de Chimurenga in The Chimurenga Library: An Introspective of Chimurenga Magazine, Cape Town Platform, 2009, pp. 4-6. Said, Edward. Orientalism, Vintage Books, 1978; V.Y. Mudimbe, The idea of Africa, Indiana University Press, 1994; the perception of landscape is also at the centre of the European Landscape Convention, 2000. Sassen, Saskia. The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, Princeton University Press, 1991. Taleb, Nassim N. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Random House & Allen Lane, 2007. van der Velden, Maja. When Knowledges Meet: Wikipedia and Other Stories from the Contact Zone in Critical Point of View: A Wikipedia Reader, eds. Geert Lovink and Nathaniel Tkacz, Institute of Network Culture, Amsterdam, 2011, pp. 236-257. Wadhwa, Kul. Free mobile for Wikipedia starts with Orange, 24/01/2012, http://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/01/24/free-mobile-for-wikipedia-starts-with-orange/. West, Stu., RfC: Geography and Wikimedia in WikiStu, 04/01/2012 http://wikistu.org/2012/01/rfc-geography-and-wikimedia. Zolghadr, Tirdad. Multiculturalism is Better than Monoculturalism; Postcolonialism is Better than Colonialism. Rejoicing in a Fiesta of Tough Choices in A Fiesta of Tough Choices: Contemporary Art in the Wake of Cultural Policies, Torpedo Press, Oslo 2007. Magazines Chimurenga Library (http://www.chimurengalibrary.co.za), “Chimurenga” (http://www.chimurenga.co.za), “Third Text” (http://www.thirdtext.com) with “Third Text Africa” (in partnership with ASAI), “Third Text Asia” and “Tercer Texto”. Chimurenga Vol. 15, The Curriculum is Everything, May 2010 http://www.chimurenga.co.za/products/chimurenga-15-the-curriculum-is-everything-2. Colloque international: Aires Culturelles et Créations Littéraire en Afrique, Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines du Sénégal, 1990. Wikimedia UK November 2011 Report, http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Reports/2011/November. Half a Million People Donate to Keep Wikipedia Free, 01/01/2011, http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Half_a_Million_People_Donate_to_Keep_Wikipedia_Free. Fundraising and Funds Dissemination https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_and_Funds_Dissemination. Wikimedia DE Wikimedia’s culture of sharing, Meta contributors, "Fundraising and Funds Dissemination/Wikimedia’s culture of sharing," Meta, discussion about Wikimedia projects, http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/ index.php?title=Fundraising_and_Funds_Dissemination/Wikimedia%E2%80%99s_culture_of_sharing&oldid=3589468 (accessed March 27, 2012) and specifically https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/ Fundraising_and_Funds_Dissemination/Wikimedia’s_culture_of_sharing#Collective_self-empowerment:_how_to_bridge_the_Digital_Divide and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/ Fundraising_and_Funds_Dissemination/Wikimedia’s_culture_of_sharing#Five:_positive_emulation. Wikipedia:GLAM getting started: Getting Started for GLAMs, Edit as yourself, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:GLAM_getting_started&oldid=477561021. Wikipedia Academy in South Africa 2007 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Wikipedia_Academies. Iberocoop: Regional cooperation in action, Wikimania 2011, Haifa, 2011, http://wikimania2011.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/Iberocoop:_Regional_cooperation_in_action. Iolanda Pensa - io@pensa.it - http://io.pensa.itIolanda Pensa works for lettera27 as scientific director of the projects WikiAfrica and Share Your Knowledge. She is the curator with Roberto Casati of the international research projectMobile Access to Knowledge: Culture and Safety in Africa promoted by SUPSI University. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology and in territorial government and planning at the EHESS in Parisin collaboration with Politecnico di Milano, with a thesis on the Dakar Biennale and the impact of cultural grants in Africa. She accomplished researches on the cultural system in Dakar,Cairo, Douala, Cape Town, Minsk, Tehran, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok, Europe and the US. She taught Art Economy at Nuova Accademia di Belle in Milan (2007-2011) and she iscorrespondent for Africa for the magazine “Domus”/Journal. As a volunteer she is the coordinator of Ecomuseo delle Grigne.