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Whose Knowledge?/VisibleWikiWomen

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The #VisibleWikiWomen annually, brings together a collective of partners and friends from around the world to make images of women, especially black, brown, indigenous, trans and non-binary individuals available on Wikipedia and the broader internet. We are proud and grateful for the thousands of images the campaign brought online so far and all the events, reflections and interventions we have done through #VisibleWikiWomen.

We have come a long way but we are also aware that there is so much more to be done. Now in its 7th edition #VisibleWikiWomen campaign, we and our partners invite you to occupy the digital space, creating, sharing, and uploading open-licensed images of marginalized women and non-binary folks to Wikimedia Commons. Let’s combat online invisibility by creating a shared and collective feminist memory that celebrates the plurality of our bodies and identities.

Join the #VisibleWikiWomen campaign all year long!

The Issue

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Women’s knowledge and contributions to the world are invisible in many ways. When we look at women’s invisibility online, Wikipedia is a good proxy to explain why this is such a critical issue. Less than ¼ of Wikipedia biographies represent women. Many biographies of important and influential women don’t exist or are incomplete.

More often than not, women's biographies don’t have images. We estimate that less than 20% of Wikipedia articles of important women have pictures. Only 20% of the images that depict human beings on Wikimedia Commons represent women (according to https://humaniki.wmcloud.org).

When women’s faces are missing from Wikipedia, that invisibility spreads. Half a billion people read Wikipedia every month,[1] and it is the 5th most visited website in the world.[2] In other words, gaps on Wikipedia have a big impact on the broader internet.

Project organizers

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  • Whose Knowledge? co-founders began thinking about this campaign in 2017 with a group of Wikimedians from around the world.
  • Sunshine Fionah Komusana is coordinating the #VisibleWikiWomen campaign with Whose Knowledge? since 2022.

The theme of the year

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The theme for this 2024 campaign is Our Resistance is Plural: Feminist solidarity, liberation, and peace. Please visit our Event page to learn more and join the campaign.

Our goal

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Our goal for this 7th edition of #VisibleWikiWomen is to bring 7,000 images of women and non-binary individuals to Wikimedia Commons, the big multimedia library for all Wikimedia projects, including the +300 language versions of Wikipedia.

Once again we will be “Celebrating the colors of #VisibleWikiWomen” with a targeted effort to increase the images of influential Black, Brown, Indigenous, Trans women and Non-Binary that are being uploaded to Wikipedia as part of the #VisibleWikiWomen campaign.

To reach this goal, we invite you – women’s and feminist organizations, culture and memory institutions, Wikipedia editors, user groups, chapters, and anyone who would like to give the plurality of women and non-binary people the visibility and acknowledgment they deserve. We are excited to collaborate with previous year’s super amigxs and friends again and to welcome new partners from around the world.


How to participate?

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You can join the #VisibleWikiWomen campaign by gathering and uploading quality images in the public domain, or under free license, to Wikimedia Commons under the VisibleWikiWomen category. These images could be photographs or drawings of women, as well as images of their work, with proper consent. Use the Upload Wizard and add the VisibleWikiWomen 2024 category to your uploads. Besides uploading images to Commons, you can also participate in the campaign by:

  • Hosting or attending local events in your communities where photos can be taken or uploaded
  • Releasing your existing photos of notable women under free license
  • Creating illustrations and drawings
  • Promoting and publicizing this project by spreading the word about it and using the hashtags #VisibleWikiWomen and #WomenofColors on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.* Co-organizing and hosting an online event with Whose Knowledge? to bring the campaign to your local communities
  • Creating a feminist corner at your public events, by installing a #VisibleWikiWomen photobooth.

And probably so much more! We’d love to see you coming up with new ideas that make the most sense for you and your communities.

If you need extra support for participating in the campaign, please email us at visiblewikiwomen[at]whoseknowledge[dot]org.

How to get involved?

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Here are some additional ways to support the #VisibleWikiWomen campaign:

Content

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  • Help make our campaign multi-lingual by translating our Meta page, resources kit and the campaign pages of our website into different languages.
  • Make lists of Wikipedia women biographies without images (by country, by occupation, by century, by activity) to raise awareness of the gender visual gap and create interesting challenges for participants.
  • Write a new Wikipedia article inspired by an “orphan” women portrait (an image without an article) and use that image to illustrate it.

Spread the word

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  • Curate and share: select images you love, optionally mixed them with inspiring texts and art, and just share it with the hashtags #VisibleWikiWomen, #WomenofColors, #HopeAndHealing and/or #FeministMemory.
  • Collaborative covering: if you are a journalist, a blogger, a podcaster or you just like to spread ideas online, you can create a piece of content about the campaign.

Support the campaign

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  • If you are a feminist organization, cultural and memory institution, media or other potential partner organization, become an institutional partner.
  • If you are an individual connected to potential partners (like the ones mentioned above), please introduce them to the campaign!
  • If you are connected with potential funders who may be able to fund and support this campaign, please bring them to the campaign!

Resources to help you

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The following resource guides offer some answers to common questions about working with images. Feel free to adapt, add, and translate to suit your own needs! And feedback on any of these guides is welcome.

Worklists
Finding or creating images
Uploading images
Licensing
Other guides we like

Super amigxs and friends in collaboration (Join us!)

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Partners in previous campaigns (2018–2023)

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Social media (Join the conversation!)

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What we’ve done so far

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  • 2023 – [[m:Special:PermaLink/25448615|#BodyPlurality #CuerposPlurales #CorposPlurais #Imizimba: Celebrating the uniqueness of our body sizes, shapes, and identities online]
  • 2022 – [[m:Special:PermaLink/23988948|Hope and healing: Creating feminist memory online]
  • 2021 – [[m:Special:PermaLink/21317833|Feminist Realities: living our resistance and liberation]
  • 2020 – [[m:Special:PermaLink/20488979|Women in the critical infrastructures of care]
  • 2019 – [[m:Special:PermaLink/19155915|Celebrating the colors of #VisibleWikiWomen]
  • 2018 – [[m:Special:PermaLink/18650615|#VisibleWikiWomen pilot edition]
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References

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