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Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Sources/Cycle 2/Wikimedia Bolivia & Global Voices - Strategy meetup in Cochabamba (July 29, 2017)/da

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What group or community is this source coming from?

name of group Wikimedia Bolivia & Global Voices
virtual location (page-link) or physical location (city/state/country) Cochabamba, Bolivia
Location type in-person discussion
# of participants in this discussion (a rough count) 29
Theme key
  1. A truly global movement
Questions key
  1. How would you gather knowledge from all over the world?
  2. How would you share everyone´s knowledge?
  3. If you were looking for that information, how would you like to see it?
  4. Is Wikipedia an option to share indigenous peoples´ knowledge? Why?
  5. What would you change about Wikipedia to be a truly global movement, to gather the knowledge of the world and to include indigenous peoples´knowledge?

The Most Important Theme

Olga making an introduction about the theme .

How make a Wikimedia a truly global movement.

Open discussion

Participants, promoters of six Bolivia´s languages: Quechua, Aymara, Yuracaré, Bésiro, Mojeño Trinitario y Castellano; were divided into 5 groups. Each group received a set of questions to discuss and was invited to take notes regarding some of the key ideas. Following the small groups, they shared their answers to the rest of the other groups, inviting their feedback. Here are the ideas presented in a conversation format. Each paragraph contains one person´s opinions. Some ideas were repeated and are included in order to note its importance, for example, recovering orality with an audio encyclopedia.

Line Theme (refer to key) Question (refer to key) Summary Statement Keywords
1 A 2 To gather all knowledge, one must be organized as a group and share information in a chain. In order to preserve knowledge, it must be disseminated and transmitted to young generations. gruppeaktiviteter
2 A 3 We would present the knowledge in a didactic and attractive way: through videos, music. Multimedia
3 A 3 If we look for knowledge, we would like to find it directly and clearly. Information synthesized
4 A 5 On the rules of writing, we must see the role of writing rather than rules. Someone at the beginning of the workshop said that cultures that were created with writing see writing as something fundamental. If orality is allowed to be used, there would be more richness. We need to adapt everything to orality. Recover orality
5 A 5 About Wikipedia structure, it can be reinforced to include audio, animations, videos, images, natural landscapes, interactive (resources), simple and illustrated vocabulary, a glossary of words, (improve) fonts and writing of text through short articles. To reach people who cannot see and can only hear, or for those who can not read, one could consider audiobooks. Multimedia

Plain language Recover orality

6 A 5 I think we have to improve the vocabulary. It should be concise and simple since many people do not read long texts. Let it be illustrated, have glossaries and short articles. I would like audio to be able to be edited as easy as text can be edited. If audio in Wikipedia could be edited, erased and added, it would be great. So, you could hear Wikipedia audios as audiobooks. Information synthesized

Multimedia Audio editing

7 A 4 Where was Wikipedia created? It was created in "the empire". For me, if we did not have internet access, we could not access it due to the cost of devices and the internet connection. Who benefits from everything we edit? The empire. We would need to pay BOB 200 (approximately USD 30) for internet access every month. This is called current colonialism. We are going to be working, giving our time and energy for this. This should be give and take. Everything here goes only in one direction and there is nothing back. Know structure of Wikimedia

Wikipedia benefits

8 A 4 We must analyze if we could make an alternate encyclopedia and subsidize it. (Although) I'm going to waste my time editing and nobody is going to pay me, there are more people who are going to read that article. At first there was Encarta and it was not free. This reflective and critical reading must be done whenever we are in front of an encyclopedia or any other media. We must ask ourselves if we are reading something neutral because the information generally comes from scholars trained in cultural settings with a political position. There is no clean knowledge, it has the bias that all humans have. So, do I want only the powerful to generate knowledge? Wikipedia gives us the possibility that one can contribute with the construction of knowledge. I invite you to do this reflection (about who generates and benefits from the diffusion of knowledge) on all knowledge and influence of power. In Bolivia, where we are so few that we do not even have the possibility to donate to Wikipedia, is more what we can win than what we can lose. Wikipedia is already used all over the world. We can put ourselves in the general concert of voices that are editing. Free culture movement
9 A 1 Knowledge is not static like a book. It is in permanent construction. Dynamism
10 A 2 Wikipedia should not be taken as an absolute truth. I think it is important to share knowledge because of its political dimension. Knowledge of Europe and the United States is empowered and has taken several spaces. Local knowledge does not have that political force and we have to take strength from the communities and from us.

Indigenous peoples generate a lot of knowledge that is left anywhere because it is nowhere. (The idea is) that someone can do something building upon what has been created. If we are only going to be consumers of information, we will remain as a subordinate country. If it is not Wikipedia, figure out what you want to create. Wikipedia itself is an option to share knowledge. Some believe it is not trustworthy. We are here because we can do everything in Wikipedia: upload articles, audios, images. That is why it is an option.

Free culture movement
11 A 1 It is not fair that someone happens to stay up late to edit and not get his or her name listed. I think one should be recognized for the work one does.

The Creative Commons principle has the spirit of sharing. I think that this is what we need: spaces to freely share our languages.


Group activities

12 A 2 I think there is some classism and superiority in teachers who say that something accesible to all is not reliable. I think they want to continue having the power to say that what elites do is valid. (We also lack) the ability to go beyond only repeating knowledge to process it and build something valuable for our life. Keeping in mind that construction will always be perfectible. Free culture movement
13 A 1 A teaching-learning strategy in universities is required to get teacher´s initiative to contribute (to Wikipedia). Include educators
14 A 4 II think this debate is unnecessary. Now that this encyclopedia appears on the internet, the question is how we include indigenous languages (in formats of) audios, videos. Maybe we should reinforce the oral rather than the written. If you put one version of a story, it fossilizes. But if you put its different versions, you will appreciate many village´s point of view. Five years ago they talked about Wikipedia and we proposed to write about indigenous lowland leaders who are not documented on the web. I assume that (edit in Wikipedia) is a good opportunity. It is to take advantage of the knowledge that is already out there. There are institutions that have worked on that topic but they have the copyright and do not share it easily. But it will be important to obtain popular and community knowledge from the web. IMultimedia

Recover orality Indigenous voices

Detailed notes


The activity took place at the mARTadero in Cochabamba on July 29, 2017 between 14:45 and 16:20 (UTC-4). The activity was carried out within the framework of the Second Meeting of Indigenous Languages Digital Activism. Participants applied to attend through a simple form where they stated their interest in the topic, as well as which indigenous community they belonged to. In addition, organizers of the event also attended, as well as (2) Bolivian Wikipedians, who played the roles of facilitator (1) and documentation assistant (1). The activity began at 2:45 pm (UTC-4) with a brief presentation by Eduardo Ávila, Rising Voices Director of Global Voices and organizer of the meeting. Olga Paredes, Wikimedia Bolivia Project Coordinator, began an icebreaker activity about the word "knowledge" in 8 indigenous languages (3 languages spoken in Bolivia and 5 in other Latin American countries). The activity was meant to demonstrate the will that is necessary to understand one another when speaking different languages and representing different cultures, which is an aim of the Wikimedia movement.

Participants were then organized into 5 groups and questions were assigned. The discussion was divided into two main blocks. In the first section, participants discussed the state of knowledge of indigenous peoples and the ways that they collect and share it with one another. The guiding questions were:

About the state of knowledge of indigenous peoples:

  • List different types of knowledge that your communities possess (For example: the way to raise animals, stories of your community, etc.)
  • Is there knowledge that has been lost, but could have been documented?
  • Which knowledge still remains and should be preserved?

On the ways of transmitting knowledge:

  • How is this knowledge transmitted among the people of the community? (For example: from generations to generations, during assemblies, among children and parents, in oral or written forms, songs, etc.?)
  • The knowledge that you never want to lose, how or where is it kept?
  • How would you like to share it?
  • How do you look for information? How do you present information to your community, family, etc.?

One of the main issues in this discussion was the meaning of the concept of "conserve". Participants agreed that it was not a matter of putting their knowledge in museums with a folkloric approximation, but efforts should focus on developing their knowledge. Below are some of the opinions given in this block.

Open discussion

Line Theme (refer to key) Question (refer to key) Summary Statement Keywords
15 A 2 When transmitting knowledge in the community, we do it from person to person through dialogues among community actors at assemblies, meetings and workshops. Orality, which is maintained in each community, is the strongest way of socialization. We lear collectively through languages: older generations teach and younger generations learn. Orality is a key point because that´s how our knowledge was maintained in mythologies, stories, sayings, parables, tales, metaphors in each village. socialization
16 A 1 We want to preserve and disseminate knowledge through orality. Respecting orality is the basic strategy. We also believe that, given the situation of languages, we have to explore all possible strategies like writing and orality. Value of orality
17 A 3 Out thinking betray us: we think of preserving like a museum where others and see how our people were like. We want (go one step further, we want) to transcend, to develop knowledge. Transcend
18 A 2 To find the information, we must be informed through the media, meetings in cabildos. This way, we inform ourselves and we know the agreements among children and grandparents. That information has to be kept to speak about our languages and cultures. If we do not join, we will not be aware. Socialization
19 A 1 In rural areas, we learn and transmit not only from human to human, but also through the relationship with the place. You learn different things from each tree, from the species of fish, as well as formal spaces. Space value, context of knowledge
20 A 3 One of the risks when writing or publishing on Wikipedia is that writing tends to folklorize the culture. Spaces of spirituality are lost when tales are told, for example. We should be able to edit and communicate that spirituality without falling into folklorization. It's not just revitalizing, it's taking up spaces in media including Wikipedia.. Folcloric vision, holistic vision

After, the second block on his suggestions for Wikimedia started. The contributions were transcribed in the previous table.

En besked til Wikimedia

Then, a Wikipedia editing training session was held. A draft article about the Nayra robot was collectively written. People commented that it is really easy to edit. They also showed interest in sharing, but expressed that much of the knowledge of their environment is not written or written by third parties outside the community. We also talked about using other articles as examples. Assistants expressed their concern over who reviewed the issues.

Eventually, the activity ended and videos were created with a message to the Wikimedia movement. Some assistants answered the question: what would you change about the Wikimedia movement to make it a truly global movement? Some of the messages were:

I would like audio incorporation in all articles for these native languages. In a way that, with a simple click, a reader can listen to the article. Or, as it is edited, the reader can click and listen to audio. It can also serve the same for those who are learning the Aymara language, in our case.

— Ruben Hilare, native speaker of Aymara.

As for Aymara Wikipedia, what I can do is edit incomplete topics. Also, edit new issues of culture, socio-linguistic. ¡There are so many topics that exist and do not yet exist in Wikipedia! There are many topics that are empty or not found when we search on the internet. So, it is important that we can add many topics, as well as photographs. Videos can also be made.

— Victoria Tinta, native speaker of Aymara

I think we should change our way of using Wikipedia and engage with the text and image publishing from a critical position. We should not consider it as something static, or immovable, but allow us to reflect. I think it has to do with the use. In the university, we have to change teacher´s attitudes regarding to Wikipedia because, as we commented many times before, sometimes we are not allowed to use that source. I think Wikipedia has some prestige somehow. But in universities, for example, we do not enforce it. So, I think we should change that attitude, that perception in order to onsider that people who publish there are people who think and feel and therefore are susceptible to question, debate, criticism and contribution. You can accept that Wikipedia is one more source.

— Tibonto Alexander, speaker of yuracaré.

We discussed that, while Wikipedia is a very interesting place to find certain information for better understanding certain situations and realities, it is important to complement this site with images, audios, shorter texts and simple and easily understandable words. So, the use of this medium extends considering that nowadays many students use it. In addition, academic people could change their impression and value it more. I believe that today we have understood that, as knowledge is collectively constructed, it is not a particular property but a more extended property. (It is necessary) to recognize, value and use it. At the end, it would change the user´s perceptions.

— Modesta Chávez, apprentice trinitario moxeño

I would like Wikipedia to have an accesible keyboard for the writing of indigenous languages. The bésiro language sometimes goes through the (problem) that keyboards don´t count with some keys for the correct writing of the language. Also on the other hand, the matter of orality. An audio software or improvements would make Wikipedia much more accessible. That would allows us to share knowledge of our culture, historical leaders and heroes who in many cases are forgotten by this official issue of those who publish.

— José Chuvé, speaker of Bésiro

== Deltagere ==

Indigenous language promoters

Promoters Sprog
*Aldo Suárez Carrillo Yurakaré
*Ariel Balderrama Rocha Quechua
*Boris Montaño Quechua
*Carmen Packar Montaño Quechua
*Delia Beltran Peñaranda Quechua
*Edwin Quispe Quispe Aymara
*Emma Zelma Condori Bautista Aymara
*Evelyn Quispe Loka Quechua
*Fátima Camacho Quechua
*Gladys Camacho Quechua
*Gloria Yucra Velásquez Quechua
*Herry Alexander Frontanilla Rodriguez Yurakaré
*Ignacio Tomicha Chuve Bésiro
*José Chuvé Mengarí Bésiro
*Juan Jose Tancara Huanca Aymara
*Juan Revollo Valencia Quechua
*Julia Román Menacho Quechua
*Luis Salazar Quechua
*Maribel Tapia Callao Quechua
*Modesta Chavez Yeguanoy Mojeño trinitario
*Nely Cuasace Bésiro
*Noelia Alcocer Rodriguez Quechua
*Noemy Condori Arias Quechua
*Ruben Hilare-Quispe Aymara
*Tania Rodriguez Chavez Quechua
*Vicente Limachi Pérez Aymara
*Victor Hugo Mamani Yapura Quecha
*Victoria Gimena Tinta Quispe Aymara
*Virginia Mamani Colque Aymara


Wikimedians Organization Rol
*Olga Paredes Project Coordinator Wikimedia Bolivia Facilitator
*Fabiola Gutiérrez Wikimedia Volunteer In charge of systematization
*Eddie Ávila Rising Voices Director Global Voices, Organizer