This week's "Featured content" covers Sunday 15 – Saturday 21 January
In our ongoing series of interviews with editors who contribute to knowledge on little-represented areas, this week The Signpost interviewed Muhammad Mahdi Karim. Muhammad is an avid participant at Featured picture candidates and has shot featured pictures related to his homeland of Tanzania, his current home in India, and Islam.
On dealing with systemic bias:
I don't do anything particularly out of my way to combat the bias. I guess due to my location and the culture I live in, what I consider everyday life, is what is under-represented at wiki. One thing I noticed is some prominent Islamic figures don't have wiki articles or if they had, these have been deleted due to a lack of written sources to back them up. Pictures of such people are thus not put to use.
On representation of Tanzania:
When it comes to Tanzania, I think we may have more than enough insects to keep us going for a while :)
I feel pictures of animals and architecture/landscapes from the eastern part of Tanzania (Dar es Salaam and surrounding areas) are somewhat covered. We are short on pictures of politicians, culture and perhaps landscapes from the northern, western and southern parts. Unfortunately, I don't see us getting many pictures of politicians due to their inaccessibility to photographers like me. The rest of Tanzania could be covered but one would require to travel the country as volunteers from these areas are unlikely.
Photographing in some areas/events in Tanzania require a mandatory media pass. As such, most governments buildings like the Karimjee Hall or the Bunge building (parliament) are out of my reach. I have been stopped a few times and scolded for shooting things even from public space! It would benefit photographers if Wikipedia/Wikimedia offered a media pass to recognized photographers to avoid such skirmishes.
On photography and Islam:
Photography in some sects of Islam is strongly discouraged. Thus taking pictures in some places such as near the Kaaba is very difficult. When I was there, I snuck in a mobile phone and snapped the picture at the top, which is one of the most widely used images of the Kaaba on the net. Unfortunately, this image was not featured due to the quality of the picture. At the nomination, some users maintained that the image should not be featured as a better one was bound to come. It has been over 3 years now and we still do not have any featured image for Islam's holiest place. This is a challenge I face from non-Muslims who expect the same quality of images to be delivered regardless of the limitations.
Some sects of Islam are particularly against depiction of humans or animals. When I was tasked by a potential buyer to get a picture of a Muslim praying, some Muslims I asked refused to pose for me. I in turn felt awkward about asking others.
My mosque in Dar es Salaam has no problem with me taking pictures but every once in a while I do get a weird look from a person wondering perhaps why I was taking pictures and not worshiping.
An American White Ibis in flight; from the new featured article.
From the new featured article, the increasing availability of information on growing techniques has made it possible for amateurs to grow psilocybin mushrooms to harvest the drug, without access to laboratory equipment.
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, recently portrayed in the hit film The Iron Lady
, with fellow conservative US President Ronald Reagan. The picture was taken in February 1981 and is part of the newly promoted Portal Conservatism.
From the new featured topic, the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies
, pictured here with U.S. President Barack Obama, defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to win the Major League Baseball's National League's second World Series championship.
Five articles were promoted to featured status
- Adiantum viridimontanum (nom), commonly known as Green Mountain maidenhair fern, is a rare fern found only in outcrops of serpentine rock in New England in the United States and in Canada. (Nominated by Choess)
- Psilocybin (nom), the psychedelic compound associated with "magic mushrooms", was introduced to popular Western culture by the work of people such as Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann and American counterculture icon Timothy Leary. Psilocybin has mind-altering effects similar to that of LSD and mescaline. Possession of psilocybin-containing mushrooms has been outlawed in most countries, and psilocybin has been classified as a scheduled drug by many national drug laws. (Sasata)
- New York State Route 319 (nom) is a state highway in Chenango County, New York, United States. Just 5.47 miles (8.80 km) long, it was originally built during the early 19th century as the Norwich and Preston Turnpike, one of many privately maintained turnpikes in the state of New York. In the early 20th century, the state assumed ownership of the turnpike's routing. (Mitchazenia)
- American White Ibis (nom), a species of bird found from the mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast of the US south and through most of the New World tropics. Pairs are predominantly monogamous and both parents care for the young, although males tend to engage in extra-pair copulation with other females to increase their reproductive success. (Casliber)
- The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (nom) is an American Western/science-fiction television series created by Jeffrey Boam and Carlton Cuse. It ran for 27 episodes on the Fox network starting in the 1993–94 season and garnered a small but dedicated following. Critics praised its humor and unique blend of genres. (Astrocog)
Two featured articles were delisted:
One list was promoted:
One featured portal was promoted:
- Conservatism (nom). Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society.
One featured topic was promoted:
- Philadelphia Phillies all-time roster (nom), containing 25 featured lists. The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. Since the franchise's inception, 1,892 players have made an appearance in a competitive game for the team, whether as an offensive player (batting and baserunning) or a defensive player (fielding, pitching, or both). (nominator Killervogel5).
Five images were promoted. Please click on "nom" to view medium-sized images:
- Brian Nankervis (nom; related article), born 1956, is an Australian comedian. He was originally best-known for his character of Raymond J. Bartholomeuz, an eccentric beat poet. (created by User:Jjron).
- St Kilda Town Hall (nom; related article), designed by noted Australian architect William Pitt and built in 1890, from its Victorian public entrance gardens, St Kilda, Victoria. (created by User:Jjron).
- Hooded Plover (nom; related article), a species of bird in the Charadriidae family. It is endemic to southern Australia and Tasmania. There are two recognized subspecies, both of which are classified as Endangered. (created by User:JJ Harrison).
- Fairy Tern (nom; related article), created by User:JJ Harrison, who said "This is the only image on Wikimedia Commons of this species. The photo was taken hand held in waist-deep salt water as it was the only way I could approach with the sun on the right side. Fairy Terns are classified as Vulnerable in most states of Australia".
- Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (nom; related article), an oil painting of 1818 by the German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich. It is now in the Kunsthalle Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany. (created by Caspar David Friedrich, uploaded by Commons:User:Cybershot800i).(see below)