Wikidata:Reimagining Wikidata from the margins
Wikidata’s ecosystem has been rapidly growing over the last nine years, with more data, more contributors and more reuse of the data by various stakeholders. Although the project envisions to structure the sum of all human knowledge to serve other Wikimedia platforms and external projects, we’re still missing Global South and other marginalized communities from the North - both in data and in contributors.
The current focus of Wikidata on Europe and North America can be misleading of how topics regarding communities from the margins are represented in the project, which sources are used for it, or even if they exist or are made visible. This is a problem, especially considering that today the Global South alone represents nearly 80% of the world population with internet access, but we don’t see the same proportion on Wikidata for now.
Wikidata infrastructure, content and community can be used to support a better understanding and representation of the diversity of human knowledge! We need to reflect and understand together how to shift this scenario and decenter Wikidata.
Reimagining Wikidata from the margins is a process that precedes WikidataCon 2021 and that potentially will continue after the conference in October. This is an invitation to communities and individuals from underrepresented groups (plus good allies!) so we can better understand and envision possible ways for our meaningful and empowered agency in the broad Wikidata ecosystem!
- Awaken the debate within a diverse range of communities from Global South and other marginalized communities
- Foment bonds between communities in similar contexts
- Identify specific and general problems/challenges/needs/expectations from those communities regarding Wikidata
- Elaborate collaboratively a strategy for decentering Wikidata from its current focus on North America and Europe
- Consolidate a document/manifesto
- Integrate to the conference program this decentering perspectives and the Global South voice
How will it work?
When Wiki Movimento Brasil was invited to co-organize WikidataCon 2021 with Wikimedia Deutschland, we decided that we wanted to draw the attention of the global community to the experiences, possibilities, challenges and expectations of contributors that come from a marginalized context. This year’s theme, “a sustainable future for Wikidata”, goes in the same direction.
With that, we will lead a process that precedes the conference itself that will be based mainly on connecting and discussing with people from this marginalized context. From June to August, there will be a series of conversations. We’ll connect with local groups spread around the world to understand and collaborate on their Wikidata issues. The organization team of WikidataCon will also design activities before the conference itself to leverage capacity building and analytical discussions in some underrepresented communities. Some of the topics that are expected to be covered in the process can be as broad as:
- Data and internet access: regional implications for contributing to Wikidata (mobile access)
- Language diversity through data modeling lenses
- Communication and engagement with the broad community
- Citations, scholarly work and libraries
- GLAM partnerships and processes
- Education projects with Wikidata
After the activities, we'll summarize the discussions in a document to be presented to the community after WikidataCon 2021, envisioning possible ways to further integrate data and volunteers from marginalized communities on Wikidata.
There’s no closed roadmap for solving diversity and knowledge equity on Wikidata. That’s why Reimagining Wikidata from the margins is experimental, flexible in its approach and open for collaboration!
Check out the How to participate? section to better understand the process.
You can find more pivotal ideas for this process inspired in previous discussions led by Whose Knowledge? here and here. A special thanks to them, especially for supporting the conception of the project name.