With the importance that such platforms as Wikipedia have gained in our society, and the new writing and publishing tools they propose, it is becoming clear that history is being written down once again. Therefore it is of great concern when studies reveal that only [8.5 to 22.7% ] of Wikipedia’s contributors are women. This problem was identified by the community itself as [Gender Bias].
Despite their efforts to come up with solutions to live up to their motto “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”, Wikipedia’s contributors are still predominantly male. Moreover, the contents published also show partial gender representations. As a symbolic example, the article “Heroines” is automatically redirected to the article “hero”, and its emblematic figures are mostly male. Next to the issues of authorship and subject matters, the writing style and structure can often be problematic. A classic example of this is the number of articles about women that starts with “this woman was the sister/wife of this famous man” in their first or second sentence.
To address these issues Just for the record will propose a series of events in Brussels starting in January 2016.
Each event will start with a lecture given by a guest speaker or organization about a topic related to the gender gap. This presentation will be used as a starting point to question the topic’s representation on Wikipedia and to identify articles that need to be created or modified. Participants will then be given a crash course in Wikipedia editing, followed by an editing session. An artistic intervention relevant to the topic will open up to new perspectives and close the day. The session will last one day and will be held in a different location each time, as a way to highlight the rich network of organizations already active in gender, feminism and media issues in and around Brussels.
The project was created shortly after an Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon that took place in Brussels March 2015, which called attention to the need for more gatherings that investigate how to create diversified contributions to online knowledge platforms.
It looks as though history is being rewritten with the same biases once again.
The project was awarded with an Inspire Grant by the Wikimedia Foundation in 2015.
Lfurter - Swiss graphic designer, organised the Brussels node of the international Art+Feminism edit-a-thon on the 7-8th of March 2015 and worked during one year as the coordinator of a book-related event in Brussels (Prix Fernand Baudin Prijs), has skills in collaborative publishing (bookprints, participative editing and experimental approaches), in graphic design (initial background and education) and tools development, organizer of many Wikipedia edit-a-thons and presentations as part of the project Just For The Record.
MMelvaer - Norwegian artist based in Brussels, organizer of many Wikipedia edit-a-thons and presentations as part of the project Just For The Record.
Sarah magnan - French graphic designer working with the Brussels based collective OSP (Open Source Publishing), organised several workshops and events around Free and Open Source software, organizer of many Wikipedia edit-a-thons and presentations as part of the project Just For The Record.