Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/Wiki and “i Week”: five projects under one “roof”

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  • ...Five projects, with visual and musical accompanyment
  • ...


Wiki Learning-Tec de Monterrey arranges five projects under 6 teachers to take advantage of students' technical abilities as well as writing.
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Video by Puliendo Talentos S.A., CC BY-SA 4.0.
Muralists Arturo Garcia Bustos and Rina Lazo discover Wikipedia articles on display at the exhibition of art and related Wikipedia articles at the main library of the Tec de Monterrey, Mexico City Campus

It’s not often when a traditional educational institution offers money and other resources to do Wikimedia-related work. But then, Semana i (i Week) is not your ordinary academic event.

September 26-30, 2016 marked the third event with the Tecnológico de Monterrey university system, and the third time Wikimedia played a part. This year, however, the school system offered significant material and logistical resources for participating projects.

The first was to allow for multiple “Wiki” projects, with different foci and allowing more professors to take leadership roles according their ability and interests. Our five projects were: 2 Wiki expeditions to two distinct areas of Mexico City, an editathon on Gothic literature, the videoing of interviews with/about five major Mexican artists of the 20th century and a project to record freely-licensed versions of Mexican traditional music. All ambitious to be sure, but even more so considering that all projects needed to be completed over the course of one week.

Preparations and planning began in January, which included recording the musicians of the band Los Hijos de Malinche who came to Mexico City to help out, arranging an art exposition on campus, and inviting experts on music, art and history to assist in areas that we lack expertise.

The Gothic literature group was managed by Tony Alcalá (User:TONYchainsaw), a Tec professor and expert in this field, along with professor María del Sol Arteaga. The two Wiki expeditions were handled by professors Alvaro Alvarez (User:Alvaroez, of Campus Santa Fe) and Martha Gomez (User:Nutriesilla, of Campus Mexico City), both veterans of planning and running this kind of event. Respectively, their students went to cover the Desierto de los Leones (historical site and national park) and the adjoining historic (neighborhoods) of Roma and Condesa. Two of the projects were completely new to us, as well as rare for the Wiki world.

Students interviewing actress Paloma Woolrich, daughter of the late Fanny Rabel

Taking advantage of the fact that we are a technological institution, with majors in digital media and sound engineering, Leigh Thelmadatter User:Thelmadatter, Dr. Lourdes Epstein Lourdes Epstein and sound engineering director Alejandro Ramos Amezquita teamed up to create options for students with these special abilities. Those with video recording and editing abilities were assigned to do interviews related to some of the most important muralists of the 20th century: Arturo García Bustos, Rina Lazo, Arturo Estrada, Fanny Rabel and Federico Cantú. The first three were all students and assistants to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, so were not only able to provide insight into their own work but those of their maestros. Fanny Rabel and Federico Cantú are no longer with us. Rabel’s daughter, actress Paloma Woolrich, agreed to come to campus and talk to us. For Federico Cantú, we had his grandson Adolfo Cantú, who is also a noted art historian and cultural promotor. All videos have been uploaded to their respective articles in English and/or Spanish, although as of this date, English subtitles are still needed on the videos. This projects was realized in collaboration with the Salón de la Plástica Mexicana, who also worked with us to set up the exhibit of works by Mexican muralists.

El Pájaro Carpintero by Los Hijos de Malinche

The music project was the most ambitious of all, even more so give the fact that the aim of Semana i here is to kick-start a longer-term project to get as many of Mexico’s many music traditions (better) represented in Wikimedia. The Mexico City Campus has professional recording studios and editing facilities. The project in reality started before Semana i, with the Los Hijos de Malinche, coming to the campus for a week to record. In this way, we had tracks ready for students to edit. But we did not stop there. Contacting Mexico’s national sound archives, Fonateca Nacional, we received access to scores and some recordings to use, but unfortunately not to directly upload into Commons. Instead, we used these documents to create MIDI files and to create new scores, which we could put up online. This project was challenging not only because of the tight schedule, but also because most of our students have little to no experience with traditional music, which has its own ethnographic and other issues to keep in mind.

The results were very satisfactory, not just in terms of content created for Wikimedia but also learning for our students. We had 134 students involved from two campuses, in various activities. We created 5 video interviews, 4 song files, one reconstructed score, 3,623 photos uploaded to Commons, 74 articles, (93 articles improved), 620 edits and 83.4K words were added to Spanish Wikipedia, according to the new Wikipedia Education Program Dashboard tool.

Below are some of the images taken by the students


Leigh Thelmadatter, Wiki Learning-Tec de Monterrey