Photographs and Media to Celebrate Africa on the Move on Wikipedia 

Posted on

Cape Town, South Africa,  14 February 2020 – In this, the 6th, year of hosting the Wiki Loves Africa (www.wikilovesafrica.net) photographic competition, the organisers Wiki In Africa (www.wikiinafrica.org) are pleased to announce that Wiki Loves Africa celebrates Africa on the Move! as the central theme for the annual visual celebration of Africa’s cultural diversity on Wikipedia. With a prize pot of USD3,300, the competition runs from the 15th February to  31st March 2020. Photographs, audio and videos that capture this theme are welcomed from anywhere on the continent, and beyond. 

The theme, Africa on the Move, encourages the visual, audio or video documentation of the many different modes, methods and infrastructure relating to transportation and movement used across the African continent … the usual and unusual, the banal and the extraordinary. The theme Africa on the Move! encourages the submission of visual representations of movement, migration or transportation, whether local or regional, by path, road, sea, or air, be it self-propelled or by animal, natural or mechanical means. Submissions could also capture the historical or contemporary structures that have been created to facilitate movement or the transportation of people, goods, or animals.

The prize post for Wiki Loves Africa 2020 totals USD3,300. There are 3 main prizes for Wiki Loves Africa and, as with every year, there are two additional prize categories for photos and media that encompass:

  • Culturally specific or traditional representations of transport or structures that facilitate transportation
  • best quality video (audio and visual quality and storytelling will be taken into account)

People can enter photos from anywhere on Earth, but to be selected for prizes, the images must show a place in, or people related to, Africa. During the contest, volunteer groups and organisations will host events to build Wikipedia savvy communities around the contest. These events range from introductory workshops, and photographic excursions to upload sessions. The events not only build local volunteer groups but encourages local pride in local heritage and culture on a global platform. It also builds a culture of contribution to the internet that shakes up the single story of Africa[1].

Currently, there are 20 countries taking part in this focused way. The hosts of these interventions range from established communities in Algeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda to fledgeling volunteer groups and single enthusiasts in Burundi, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zambia. 

For the last five years, the Wiki Loves Africa contest has encouraged the donation of nearly 50,000 photographs to Wikimedia Commons for potential use on Wikipedia. In the first year, under the theme Cuisine, 873 people contributed 6,116 photographs. Cultural fashion and adornment was the theme for the next year, 2015, which saw 722 people contribute over 7,500 photographs. In 2016, Music and Dance contributed 7917 files from 836 people. In 2017, under the theme “People at Work” 18,294 photographs were entered by 2,473 people. Last year, under the theme of PLAY! 8,800 images were uploaded by 1350 contributors.

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 supported by Ynternet.org, is funded by the Wikimedia Foundation and supported in-kind by UNESCO and a host of local partners in individual countries. The images donated are available for use on the internet and beyond, under the Creative Commons license CC BY SA 4.0.

How do people enter? What else can be won? What events are happening where? These can be found on the contest page: http://bit.ly/EnterWLA2020.

[1] Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Danger of a Single Story TED talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story