When people hear the word Wiki-, they automatically fill out the rest with -pedia. But for many language communities around the world, a Wikipedia of their own, in their own language, will never be a reality. This mainly stems from a lack of resources and launching a Wikipedia is nothing, if not resource-intense. Yet within the Wikimedia projects, there is a wealth of opportunities hiding in plain sight that have nothing to do with Wikipedia, ranging from identifying visual cultural heritage to helping revitalize languages by connecting Wikimedia projects with the language communities’ own projects.
In the first part of our session we will discuss the strategies we have identified for working with the Saami communities and their culture in novel ways. We are gradually testing out how we can use the data, concepts, and lexemes stored in Wikidata and the visual cultural heritage in Wikimedia Commons to best benefit the communities. Our identified strategies range from creating activity networks within institutions, Saami communities and Wikimedia practitioners, through decolonising the Commons imagery in visual culture workshops, to investigating the opportunity for Saami language tagging by means of translated Wikidata concepts.
In the second part of our session, we invite participants to discuss these and to brainstorm other opportunities together.
After our talk, the audience should be able to identify multiple, less-intense ways of helping indigenous or under-resourced communities start or expand existing Wikimedia projects. In addition, the language communities will know that there is an entire community of Wikimedians whom they can turn to and who are willing to throw ideas around with them to find potential solutions with the resources they have and on their own terms. Last but not least, they should be inspired to push the Wikimedia movement to actually make it possible for all communities to have “free access to the sum of all human knowledge” and to be able to add to it.
This session will address the conference theme — Wikimedia, Free Knowledge and the Sustainable Development Goals — in the following manner:
Our presentation demonstrates the partnerships that we have or will be fostering in order to reduce the inequality experienced by the indigenous Saami communities in Wikimedia projects. We are also working to promote sustainable consumption, as we feel that together we can achieve more and do so more efficiently with the resources we have since we do not need to keep reinventing the wheel over and over again. This, in turn, should lead to quality education and perhaps even economic growth if we do it well.