February 10, 2012Africa Centre in Cape Town and lettera27 promote WikiAfrica: a new collaboration and two Wikipedians in Residencelettera27
starts the new year with exciting new developments from their WikiAfrica
partnership with the Africa Centre
that is based in Cape Town in South Africa. The Africa Centre has become the main partner in the WikiAfrica project to promote and develop the WikiAfrica project on the continent of Africa. This is an extremely important contribution from an institution that is active across the whole continent, focusing on the dissemination, support and development of Pan-African culture, artworks and knowledge creation.lettera27
and Africa Centre are already working together in order to create 30.000 African entries for Wikipedia during 2012 with the involvement of 50 cultural institutions. Iolanda Pensa is in charge of the scientific direction of the project, Cristina Perillo and Isla Haddow-Flood are the project managers, the former for lettera27
, the latter for Africa Centre. Moreover the project has already established collaborations with the M-Net African Film Library
, Out in Africa Film Festival
, Encounters Documentary Film Festival
, and the GALA - Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action
Beside these institutions and the Share Your Knowledge
project staff, two Wikipedians in Residence have been involved in the project. They are two volunteers of the Wikipedia community who have decided to support WikiAfrica, assisting both lettera27
, Africa Centre and the participant organisations with uploads and training. The first Wikipedian in Residence
was Lyam Wyatt in 2010. He worked with the British Museum to initiate the institution into the benefits of Wikipedia, by creating articles using existing documentation, introducing the audience to Wikipedia and explained how an institution and its staff can be part of Wikipedia.
This pilot project established a new relationship with the most famous, but also one of the most criticised and misunderstood online encyclopaedias. It resulted in huge international success for both the British Museum and Wikipedia. As a result, the number of institutions that now have the privilege of hosting a Wikipedian in Residence is rising. Among these are important institutions such as the Palace of Versailles, Museu Picasso in Barcelona, Smithsonian Archive of American Art and the United States national archives.
Since March 2011, lettera27
is pleased to collaborate with Remulazz, an administrator of Italian Wikipedia, who, mainly fond of geography, has been giving his contribution to African entries on Wikipedia and his advice to the foundation staff. From March 2012 Remulazz will be in charge of a three-month training program held in Milan for Wikipedians in Residence. From Febuary, the Africa Centre is hosting a remunerated Kenyan Wikipedian who has already begun to encourage African institutions and journalists contribute to Wikipedia.
The Africa Centre, started in 2006, offers a program of interdisciplinary activities and promotes innovative cultural practices and events linked to Africa and diaspora. Over the years, the Africa Centre has developed a series of specific projects such as: Badilisha Poetry X-Change
, a web radio dedicated to African and diaspora poets; ITC - Infecting the City
, a public arts festival held in Cape Town’s public spaces; Pan African Space Station
, a web radio and cycle of musical events; SPARCK Space for Pan-African Research Creation and Knowledge - a space for contemporary Pan-African research, creation and knowledge; Spier Contemporary
, the largest South African art biennial exhibition; Talking Heads
, a sharing knowledge platform for Africa’s most progressive and enquiring minds and Artists in Residency Programme, that connects African artists to world residence programs.Image: photo by Scott Liddell. Courtesy the author.