Wiki Loves Living Heritage/About

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In 2023, we celebrate living heritage around the world!

Wiki Loves Living Heritage celebrates living heritage on the 20th anniversary of the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Living Heritage embraces practices, knowledge and skills that have been passed on through generations and are still valuable and in use today. It includes for example oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills related to crafts. Living heritage is not only diverse and colourful, but also an invaluable source of time-tested knowledge about how to live on our planet sustainably and peacefully.

In more than 180 countries across the globe inventories put the living heritage in their country into overview. Each year a number of these elements are also inscribed on the UNESCO Lists of Intangible Heritage. However, living heritage is not limited to elements inscribed on the lists or inventories, there is much more to celebrate!

Join documenting and sharing what living heritage matters for you today and your community: what you practice, cherish and safeguard!

Ways of working

Documenting Living Heritage

Wiki Loves Living Heritage invites heritage communities, Wikimedia volunteers, safeguarding organizations and Intangible Cultural Heritage focal points around the world to document and share Living Heritage.

The project aims to ensure that the documentation produced in this context is produced with the free, prior and informed consent of the heritage communities. In this way, we are creating a collection of works for which the consent is agreed and documented with the heritage communities.

Local activities

The different local communities create the program together on the local level any time of the year, and their activities are seen and heard in global online media campaigns.

The activities can be created together around already existing celebrations, events or projects that any of the communities and organizations are arranging. It is also possible to work with a thematic focus rather than a regional one. Propose one and invite others to join! You can share your ideas in the Ideas for activities page or at the regular meetings.

Online campaigns with thematic or regional focus

Wiki Loves Living Heritage amplifies local and thematic activities globally through all its channels together with the partners. Existing images and videos are highlighted and new ones are invited. Blogs, videos and social media posts are published. The openly licensed texts are published on these web pages, and can be translated to any language. All contributions to this project are available for anyone through the Wikimedia projects.

Exchange your skills

A section of these pages is dedicated to sharing skills. It’s possible to showcase traditional crafts and skills, or learn how to share materials on Wikimedia projects. The best practices for ethical documentation and sharing of living heritage are made available in many languages.

Data about the heritage elements

Basic information about the heritage elements in the UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the national inventories is added to Wikidata in collaboration with the participating communities and a team of Wikimedians.

The data on Wikidata can be displayed as lists on wikis or as visualizations on any website. That makes it easy to upload photographs and videos in the right context with the right metadata. The data is available in hundreds of languages. Volunteers around the world will help by adding more details and translating multilingual parts. The enriched data is available for anyone for any purpose and it will become visible in web searches.

Data collecting will proceed at the pace and scope of the will of the heritage communities themselves, respecting the data sovereignty described in CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance and the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

Timeline in 2023[edit]

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Data imports
Networking launch

Associated activities

European Heritage Days Wikipedia Asian Month
Wiki Loves Africa
Living Heritage of Bengal proofread competition

The organizers[edit]

The team

  • Susanna Ånäs, Partner liaison
  • Leena Marsio and Jorijn Neyrinck, Focal point coordinators
  • Sadik Shahadu, Communications manager
  • Giovanna Fontenelle (Wikimedia Foundation), Coordinator for ethical sharing in collaboration with Bart Magnus (Creative Commons working group The Ethics of Open Sharing) and Jorijn Neyrinck (Workshop intangible heritage Flanders)
  • Ethical sharing team, Editorial support team and Wikimedia contributions support team – Are you interested?

In collaboration with

Advisory team

Representatives of

  • Wikimedia contests. Please be in contact if you would like your contest or project to be included!
  • Representatives of the support teams
  • The global network of focal points for the UNESCO 2003 Convention
  • Wikimedia Foundation Culture & Heritage
  • Funders and partners
  • The working group on Ethical Sharing at Creative Commons

Names of the representatives will be added when they are confirmed.

In relation with

Wiki Loves Living Heritage will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the European Heritage Days theme year Living Heritage and can connect with the International Decade of Indigenous Languages. Furthermore, the European Commission has dedicated 2023 as the Year of Skills.