Hi! This annual report outlines Whose Knowledge? activities supported by the group from September 2019 to September 2020. Whose Knowledge? will be reporting on its Simple Annual Plan Grant for 2020 separately.
TL;DR Summary of the Year
Seeding new work, growing our successful pilots
- This year was marked by the amplification and growing impact of two main initiatives: #VisibleWikiWomen 2020 and State of the Internet’s Languages.
- We hosted our second Decolonizing the Internet convening with a focus on languages in October 2019.
Amplifying our key messages
- We've begun to change the frames of engagement around multilingualism online by sharing our languages work via speaking and writing engagements.
- We’ve shared and amplified our decolonizing frames and practices through written and multi-media publications, including the piece we wrote with our communities to the International Feminist Journal of Politics (IFJP), a forthcoming article we’ve written with some of our advisors for a special issue on cross-cultural feminist technologies in the Global Perspectives Journal and a chapter for the forthcoming MIT Press book “Wikipedia@20: Stories of an Incomplete Revolution”.
Building for sustainability
- We created more organizational capacity around logistics and operations by hiring a Logistics Coordinator, Irene Tait, to organize our Decolonizing the Internet’s Languages convening in October 2019 and an Operations Coordinator, Ashima Bhardwaj, to manage our finances and operations from February 2020.
- This was our third year of organizing the #VisibleWikiWomen campaign, which brought over 15,000 new images of women to Wikimedia Commons during its three editions. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, we partnered with Wikimedia communities, feminist and women’s organizations and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) institutions and brought over 4000 women’s images to Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia.
- The theme of this year’s campaign was women in the critical infrastructures of care in response to what we were (and still are) experiencing during the Covid-19 global pandemic. As we all collectively but differently experienced the pandemic, it became evident that not all people fighting COVID-19 were receiving equal acknowledgement, appreciation, and visibility. Once again, women’s faces, stories and contributions from the frontlines, especially those of black, brown, indigenous, and trans women, were often missing from online content. This invisibility comes from deeply rooted structural systems of discrimination and privilege, whether patriarchy, racism, homophobia, classism or their intersections. We celebrated women in the critical infrastructures of care, and we continued to mark the many #womenofcolors who are disproportionately represented but rarely acknowledged in these infrastructures.
- We hosted our first #VWW edit-a-thon during this year’s edition. We partnered with #SheTransformsTech campaign from World Pulse and Take Back the Tech campaign from Association for Progressive Communications (APC) to share our best practices and expertise with their feminist communities around the world.
State of the Internet's Languages
- Following our Decolonizing the Internet’s Languages convening in October 2019, we have continued to work with Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) as part of our collaborative research partnership. Our goal is to publish a State of the Internet’s Languages report in October 2020. This report should serve as a first of its kind baseline for multi-linguality on the internet. We have been mainly focused on the following areas to produce the report:
- Data Analysis - We have received 8 final ethnographic contributions which will be used for our qualitative analysis, anchored by our partner CIS. We have collected data across a number of online platforms and tools which will inform our quantitative analysis, anchored by our partner OII.
- Report writing - We have been working on the report narrative and also putting together a group of editorial advisors - including our participants from the Decolonizing the Internet’s Languages convening in October 2019 - who will review and provide feedback to the drafts we produce. The report will be translated into a number of languages, both via paid and volunteer translators.
- Website/Publication Architecture and Design - Our Communications Lead, Claudia Pozo and designer and illustrator, Maggie Haughey (hired from July-October for the report) are working on the concepts for the design and architecture of the virtual report which will be hosted in its own website. They will also design and develop a physical report to be made available after the virtual publication, which is intended primarily to be an executive summary of the digital report.
Communications and outreach
- In the talk Technology and Feminism: Dismantling Power and Aligning our Tech to our Values, our co-director Anasuya Sengupta, together with Jennifer Radloff (Association for Progressive Communications) and Sarah Aoun (Open Tech Fund), explored how the technology we use reflects and reproduces the systemic oppression and injustice embedded in our current global political system; alternatives being developed; and why it is critical for social justice philanthropy to resource alternative digital futures.
- Our co-director Anasuya Sengupta presented about Decolonising the Internet’s Languages and questions of epistemic (in) justice at the Disrupting Digital Monolingualism Workshop. In this presentation, Anasuya shared why language is a key proxy for knowledge; what are the questions of epistemic injustice related to languages (online), and the work of Whose Knowledge? and its partners to create knowledge and language justice online
- Anasuya and our friend, ally and former Communications Lead, Kira Allmann hosted the webinar Knowledge justice on the internet: different ways of knowing and doing at the UKSG. In this talk, they framed the issue of internet inequality in terms of ‘knowledge justice’, explored how our experiences of the internet are the products of certain exclusive knowledges, and what are some some of the exciting ways in which we can build an internet that is more equitable, inclusive, accessible, diverse, multilingual and multi-directional.
- Following our International Feminist Journal of Politics publication earlier this year, we have been invited to submit an essay for the special issue on Cross-cultural Feminist Technologies for the Global Perspectives Journal. We are writing an article with a few of our advisors to show the ways in which we have internally designed Whose Knowledge? to reflect specific feminist principles and practices. The essay is in the final review process and should be published late 2020.
- We are working with the Netherlands based feminist fund Women Win, that supports girls' and women’s empowerment through sport. We are helping Women Win develop and explore decolonizing practices within their organization and partner’s network (from March to August 2020)
- From March to June, we worked with Global Fund for Women to finalize the public version of the technology funding strategy we created for them in the second half of 2019.