Focus is on Health + Wellness across Africa in annual Wikipedia photo competition

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Wiki Loves Africa (www.wikilovesafrica.net) is a visual celebration of Africa’s cultural diversity on Wikipedia. 2021 marks the 7th year of Wiki Loves Africa the annual photographic competition presented by Wiki In Africa (www.wikiinafrica.org) and activated by the Wikipedia communities across Africa. The competition runs over 2 months from the 15th February to 15th April 2021

** DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 30th APRIL 2021 **

Every year a different catalysing theme is chosen by the Wikimedia community across Africa. Wiki Loves Africa 2021 calls on photographers, audiophiles and videographers to visually interrogate everything that contributes to Health + Wellness within the African context. As a year, 2020 concentrated on sickness, illness and loss. This year, Africa’s Wikipedia community wishes to focus on the Health + Wellness of people. The 2021 theme has been chosen to present a positive view of where we are, and how we can be into the future. If nothing else, 2020 brought to the fore the importance of our personal health and wellness, and how the efficiency of our health systems, affects those around us – the people we know and love, and the complete strangers who we come into contact with whilst working, shopping, and walking from one place to another. 

What is the difference between health and wellness? Health is seen as the state of physical, mental and social well-being in which disease and infirmity are absent, whereas wellness is the state of living a healthy lifestyle through enhanced well-being. 

People can enter photos from anywhere on Earth under an open licence, but to be selected for prizes, the images must represent elements, places or people related to Africa. The prize pot for Wiki Loves Africa 2021 totals USD3,300. There are 3 main prizes for Wiki Loves Africa that are selected by a jury of international photographers and Wikimedians. As with every year, there are two additional prize categories for photos and media that encompass:

  • Cultural or traditional representations of Health and Wellness specific to African cultures and communities; and
  • The best quality video submitted (audio and visual quality and storytelling will be taken into account)

Wiki Loves Africa is an annual photo contest that runs across the African continent to shift and disrupt the relentless negative depiction of “Africa” on online news and knowledge platforms. An intended benefit of the project is that, by the competition being hosted locally, it actively contributes to the development of local creatives and the Wikimedia volunteer communities. Wiki Loves Africa encourages a culture of contribution to the internet that shakes up the single story of Africa[1]

Wiki Loves Africa is activated by the Wikimedia community that created Wikipedia in support of WikiAfrica movement. The competition was conceptualised and is managed by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood of Wiki In Africa as a fun and engaging way to rebalance the lack of visual representations and relevant content that exists about Africa on Wikipedia. The competition is funded through a grant by the Wikimedia Foundation and supported in-kind by UNESCO and a host of local partners in individual countries. The images donated under a free licence are available for use on the internet and beyond, under the Creative Commons license CC BY SA 4.0.

How do people enter? How do I take a winning photo? What is a CC licence? All this and more can be found from the contest page: bit.ly/EnterWLA2021

COVID-19 Notice: We would like to make it clear that the threat of contracting COVID-19 is still present globally. We encourage people who wish to take photographs or other media to exercise EXTREME CAUTION. During the contest, volunteer groups and organisations will host online events to build Wikipedia savvy communities around the contest. In-person events are discouraged until contracting COVID is no longer a risk. Restrictions are different everywhere, and we encourage any person taking photographs outside their home environment or attending in-person events to sanitise regularly, and wear a mask at all times. We would prefer that contestants use images from their archives, or as they go about their daily practices. We ask contestants to think before placing themselves (or any other person) at risk. #staysafe.
[1] Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Danger of a Single Story TED talk

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