Since 2018, a collective of partners and friends from around the world made available more than 15000 images of women to Wikipedia and the broader internet. We are proud and grateful for that but also aware that there is so much more to be done. Wikipedia (and the broader internet) are still missing many images of important and influential women, especially black, brown and indigenous women.
In the 5th year of #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 gives us hope and healing!!
Welcome to the #VisibleWikiWomen campaign 2022! Join along all year for the fifth edition of the campaign.
Women’s knowledge and contributions to the world are invisible in so 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 one quarter of Wikipedia biographies represent women. Many biographies of notable women don’t exist or are incomplete.
More often than not, women 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). And, when women’s faces are missing from Wikipedia, that invisibility spreads. Half a billion people read Wikipedia every month, and it is the 5th most visited website in the world, so gaps in Wikipedia have a big impact on the broader internet.
- Whose Knowledge? co-founders began thinking about this campaign in 2017 with a group of Wikimedians from around the world.
- Señoritaleona is coordinating the 2022 #VisibleWikiWomen campaign with Whose Knowledge?.
The theme of the year
The theme for this 2022 campaign is Hope and healing: Creating feminist memory online.
In 2022, we want to acknowledge that our communities are trying to work through the grief, anger and sadness of many different losses. In the last two editions of this campaign Feminist Realities: living our resistance and liberation (2021) and Infrastructures of resistance: women in the critical infrastructures of care (2020), we had to lean on our collective strength and resilience to continue this important work as we faced a global pandemic, climate crisis and raging racism and fascism.
For this year’s campaign, our communities of marginalized women/non-binary folks who are often at the core of genuine hope, care and healing work, remind us that we can still find hope and create reparative healing — of ourselves and the planet.
When we document our lives, legacies, and struggles, we are actively creating our collective memory and healing in community and solidarity. We are also impacting the kind of futures we want to create. The visual narratives we build today have the potential to change how we experience and are portrayed on the internet, the media, the cultural and memory preservation institutions and, of course, Wikipedia.
In a world where the algorithms of big tech corporations decide who is visible (and who remains invisible), solely based on commercial criteria, open knowledge platforms like Wikipedia, despite its own challenges, can still be spaces for collaborative co-creation of community knowledge and memory.
We literally need to see each other in these spaces in an affirming, celebratory way as a source of collective power for our work toward social change, to transform a capitalist, patriarchal and racist world.
Our plan for 2022
Inspired by the results of the previous campaigns, our goal for this 2022 edition of #VisibleWikiWomen is to bring 5000 images of notable women to Wikimedia Commons, the big multimedia library for all Wikimedia projects, including the 326 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 and indigenous women 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 women 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.This year, we expect to expand and deepen our collaboration with partners in Africa.
How to participate?
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 2022 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.
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?
Here are some additional ways to support the #VisibleWikiWomen campaign:
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.
- Lists of women's articles that are missing images - Here are some ideas for women's images to focus on. You can add your own lists too!
- Finding or creating images
- How to find free images – Cómo encontrar imágenes libres – كیف تجد صوًرا حرة
- How to ask for image donations – Cómo solicitar donaciones de imágenes – كیف تطلب التبرع بصور)
- Creating drawings for Wikipedia – Creando dibujos para Wikipedia – عمل رسومات لویكیبیدیا
- Uploading images
- How to upload images to Wikimedia Commons – Cómo subir imágenes a Wikimedia Commons – كيف ترفع صورًا على ويكيميديا كومنز
- Don't forget to categorize your images under the category VisibleWikiWomen so we can find them later!
- Adding images to Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia: do's and don'ts – Agregando imágenes a Wikipedia qué hacer y qué no – إضافة الصور إلى ویكیمیدیا كومنز وویكیبیدیا: افعل ولا تفعل
- Giving consent for images on Wikipedia – Consentimiento para imágenes en Wikipedia – على الصور التي تنشر على ویكیبیدیا إعطاء الموافقة
- Other guides we like
Super amigxs and friends in collaboration (Join us!)
Partners in previous campaigns (2018-2021)
- Women in Red and at #WikiWomenInRed
- Art + Feminism #NowEditingAF
- Mujeres latinoamericanas en Wikimedia
- Wikimedia Tunisie #WikimediaTN
- Association CLibre #CLibreTn
- Wikimedia Israel #WikimediaIL
- The Black Lunch Table #blacklunchtable
- Global Fund for Women
- Wikimedia Community User Group Brazil
- Wikimedia Uruguay
- Wikimedia Argentina
- Wikimedia Bolivia
- WikiDonne (#WikiDonne)
- O Foundation
- Global Voices
- Syrian Female Journalist Network
- Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas (Mexico)
- Amical Wikimedia
- International Network of Women’s Museums
- Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)
- Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
- Wikimedia DC
- Wikimedia Nigeria
- Africa is a Country
- Women in the Fire Service UK
- International Women’s Day Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon 2020
- Ennegreciendo Wikipedia
- #SheTransformsTech from World Pulse
- Wikimedia UK
- International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) Consortium
- Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era - DAWN
- Periódicas (Argentina)
- Gobierno de Entre Ríos (Argentina)
- African Women's Development and Communication Network - FEMNET (Kenya)
- Barbados Museum & Historical Society
- [Lankelly Chase]
- Wikimedistas de Uruguay
- Wiki Movement Brazil User Group
- Wikimedia Foundation
- Wikimedia Ghana User Group
- Noircir Wikipédia
New 2022 partners: welcome!
Social media (Join the conversation!)
- Visit our Facebook page! Suggest figures you want to make visible.
- Use our social media toolkit in English or Spanish.
Events and edit-a-thons (Find an event near you!)
In 2022, there will be many local events to improve the visibility of women in Wikipedia. Edit-a-thons, editing workshops and other activities are being organized by wikipedians around the world.
If you want to be part of such events, search for an event near you, or contact your Wikimedia local chapter. Remember that in addition to creating articles about notable women, you can also take or look for pictures to illustrate them.
Would you like to organize a specific event for the VisibleWikiWomen challenge? We can give you some ideas, resources and support to carry out this plan. Just contact us at email@example.com and let's talk!
If you are an Wikimedia event host, like an edit-a-thon, you can join the #VisibleWikiWomen challenge, inviting participants to upload photos of notable women to Wikimedia Commons and to illustrate articles in Wikipedia. We suggest you add some activities related to this challenge in your event. Why not set up a photographic set and invite some notable women from your city to be photographed for Commons? Or maybe do a specific workshop on the use of images in Wikipedia? Join the campaign adding your event below.
Alphabetical by country, Global events with event pages at top
|Language||When||Trainer/Organiser||Country or region or language||Event page|
|English||March and April||Women in Red||Global||VisibleWikiWomen-WikiProject Women in Red - 2022|
|Spanish||March 1 to April 3||Wikimedia chapters and user groups||Regional / Latam||¡Alto! Mujeres trabajando|
What we’ve done so far
In 2018 we launched the VisibleWikiWomen pilot edition, followed by other three successful campaigns in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Highlights from last year's campaign include:
- Our partners and communities brought over 1700 images to Wikimedia Commons, illustrating pages in 38 different Wikipedia languages. While we celebrate each and every one of these images, this campaign was not about the breadth and quantity of images. It was about the depth and quality of our engagements with our partners and communities, as well as our focus on creating local capacity in the Global South communities we primarily serve.
- We hired our first Africa-based coordinator, Pamela Ofori-Boateng, to support our existing partners and establish new partnerships in the continent, as well as to co-coordinate the campaign with our long-term coordinator Mariana Fossatti. Besides being a well-known Wikipedian in Ghana, Pamela had been a very dedicated campaign partner in previous editions of #VisibleWikiWomen.
- We supported collective learning experiences by leading and co-leading workshops on how to upload images to Wikimedia Commons. We co-hosted two online workshops with our partners Association for Women’s Right and Development (AWID) and World Pulse, both international feminist networks, and facilitated a workshop series in the Greater Manchester Narratives Lab, a culture hack and knowledge justice process.
- We experimented with directly supporting local organizers that could amplify and lead their campaign activities locally. This is an idea and goal we’ve had since the conception of #VisibleWikiWomen. We’ve always planned on creating more local capacity and supporting our communities to lead and shape this campaign according to their own needs. In order to do that, during this edition we offered financial and technical resources, in addition to the knowledge resources we’ve offered in the past, to local #VisibleWikiWomen organizers. As a result, our local organizers hosted six national-level #VisibleWikiWomen events online: four in Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania), and two in Latin America (Argentina and Uruguay).
- This campaign’s edition brought over 40 new editors to the Wikimedia community, our highest number thus far, and we expect more will continue joining as our partners and campaign participants now have the skills and excitement to share what they learned with their communities. For more stories and direct quotes from campaign participants this year, read our last #VisibleWikiWomen 2021 blog post.