May 16, 2022

“Amplifying Black and Diverse Histories” is the Goal of Wikimedia’s New “Wiki Unseen” Collaboration with Global Artists

From the Wikimedia Foundation:

To kick off Black History Month, the Wikimedia Foundation, the global nonprofit that operates Wikipedia, announced the launch of Wiki Unseen, a collaboration with artists aimed at expanding the visual representation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) in Wikimedia projects and advancing knowledge equity.

Launched today, the first iteration of the project, a collaboration with artists from Africa, North America, and the Caribbean, will help to address the visual and written underrepresentation of several Black historical figures on Wikipedia and in media repository Wikimedia Commons. In addition to global artists, the Foundation is collaborating with AfroCROWD.org, a Wikipedia-volunteer led initiative to create and improve information about Black culture and history on Wikipedia, as well as Bēhance, a social media platform that showcases creative work on the initiative.

Research shows that Wikipedia articles featuring illustrations increase audience engagement and views, creating an additional point of entry for visual learners and expanding understanding of the information presented. With this in mind, the Wikimedia Foundation and AfroCROWD.org worked together to select 20 Wikipedia articles of BIPOC historical figures without visual representation, further collaborating with Bēhance to source a list of artists from the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean to create portraits of each. This year, the artists will create portraits for six of 20 total historical figures.

The commissioned artists include Enam Bosokah from Ghana, Esther Griffith from Trinidad, and Bukhtawar Malik from the United States. Among the first articles that will feature new illustrations are: Marian Ewurama Addy, William Greaves, Rose Dieng-Kuntz, May Miller, Mercedes Richards, and Asquith Xavier. These portraits will be published throughout the month of February; they include personalities whose images are not freely licensed and therefore unable to be added to Wikipedia articles.  https://wikimediafoundation.org/news/2022/02/09/amplifying-black-and-diverse-histories/

Learn More, Read the Complete Launch Announcement

See Also: Wikipedia Launches “Wiki Unseen,” Commissioning Artists To Paint Portraits of BIPOC Figures (via Hyperallergic)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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