Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2022/Reports/WMTR/Vikipolimer

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Introduction[edit]

Me on the Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2022.
All together - Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2022 — Day 2 03

Basak and I attended the Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2022 in Ohrid, Macedonia, as representatives of the Wikimedia Community User Group Turkey. It was my first international Wikimedia event and also my first experience abroad. I had the opportunity to meet and interact with people from different countries and cultures at the conference due to participants from different regions of the world. During the event, I had many lightning talks and brainstorming sessions on various topics with other user groups and Foundation staff. I also had the opportunity to brainstorm about the projects I am currently developing. I received positive feedback from them and overcame the fear of what I will be doing in the upcoming processes. I believe that it will be precious for our community to participate more in these types of events and I'm looking forward to attending the next one.

The Conference[edit]

Day 1 (Friday, 14 October)[edit]

Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2022 — Day 1- 30

The first day started with an opening speech by the Mayor of Ohrid, Mr. Kiril Pecakov, followed by an overview of Wikimedia CEE by the Chair and members of the Committee and several presentations by the speakers. Following the opening ceremony and presentations, there was a quick introduction to the other participants with small group conversations to break the ice. In these conversations, we learned how and where other attendees participated in the event. After all these interactions, we listened to a presentation about CEE Hub.

In the presentation of Wikimedia Strategy 2030, we talked about important topics for Wikimedia's future, like the sustainability of Wikimedia's movement, and what could do to ensure fairness in decision-making. While I agree with almost all recommendations, some of them were more interesting to think about. Since I'm already working on it, the subject I relate to the most was user experience.

We talked about local needs, and how & to what degree could CEE be effective on a local level, in a group that was chosen randomly after the presentation. Following that, I shared my thoughts in the same group on the anti-disinformation law passed in Turkey and how we should fight the possible difficulties that this law will bring.

Member of Wikimedians of Albanian Language User Group on Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2022.

The themes of the sessions I attended after the ceremony and official presentations on Day 1 were as follows:

  • Education
  • GLAM
  • Community Engagement
  • Sharing & Learning

Education[edit]

The first session I attended on the second day under the Education topic was "Wikipedia in the Albanian classroom", a presentation by Vjollca Merdani from the Wikimedians of Albanian Language User Group, in which Merdani critically addressed the use of Wikipedia as a teaching tool in schools as well as some of its policies.

GLAM[edit]

Z. Blace and Matić Petra presented "noGLAMorɚ - Wikimedia and (non-institutional) cultural organizations". They presented us roadmaps of collaborations and open questions in covering (non-institutional) culture and art activities in Wikimedia.

Equity[edit]

Z. Blace and Matej Grochal presented Queering Wikipedia 2022 and 2023 plans.

Community Engagement[edit]

After the presentation of Wikimedians of Albanian Language User Group, I attended the presentation "The WikiStipendiya marathon in Uzbekistan" by Nodir Ataev.

Sharing & Learning[edit]

Başk Tosun, a member of the WMTR, of which I am also a member, gave a lightning talk titled "Experimenting New Forms of Wikipedia Assignments: Experience of Civic Responsibility Project Course" in which Tosun spoke about collaborating with universities and schools in Turkey and shared the benefits of this collaboration with the other participating communities. There was a also good presentation "Queering Wikipedia " by Z. Blaće and Matej Grochal.

Day 2 (Saturday, 15 October)[edit]

Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2022 — Day 2 28

The themes of the sessions I attended on Day 2 were as follows:

  • Legal
  • Advocacy & Wikipedia
  • Capacity Development

Legal[edit]

The first session I attended on the Day 2 was "The sound of Wikimedia - let's have a listen" by Mehrdad Pourzaki, which gave an overview of the sound logo for Wikipedia looking for and some of the sound logos submitted during the submissions were listened to during the session.

Advocacy & Wikipedia[edit]

After the Legal theme session, Mehman Ibragimov spoke about the Wikimedia Community User Group Georgia's cooperation with the government and the panorama law that is currently being voted in the Georgia parliament. We listened to the presentation "Cooperation between Wikimedia UG Georgia and Gov agencies". Based on my personal observations, I really like the cooperation of Georgian Wikipedia with the Georgian government, they will overcome many problems and pave the way for more contributions thanks to the law they are trying to pass in the parliament.

Capacity Development[edit]

Asaf Bartov gave a lecture called "Modeling our languages with Lexeme" about "Lexeme" which is a very efficient tool, during the demonstration he showed an example and was assisted by Mrs. Başak from the WMTR of which I am a member. To summarize briefly, with Lexeme you can vocalize the words in your own language and have them uploaded to the commons, a kind of language and pronunciation database.

Group photo[edit]

After the sessions, we met in the garden for a group photo with all participants.

City tour and dinner[edit]

After the end of the sessions, we left the hotel and went to the city center where we had a city tour, followed by dinner at a local restaurant in the city accompanied by a local folk show.

Day 3 (Sunday, 16 October)[edit]

The themes of the sessions I attended on Day 3 were as follows:

  • Community Engagement
  • Advocacy & Wikipedia
  • Strategy

Community Engagement[edit]

The first session I attended on the Day 3 of the event was the presentation "Wiki Loves Earth - opportunities for the CEE communities" by Olesia Lukaniuk. In this presentation, Lukaniuk gave general information about how to organize WLE in local affiliations and how to organize it, after the general information there was a question and answer session with the users who attended the session and some users shared their experiences.

Capacity Development[edit]

Chris Schilling in his presentation "An overview of Wikimedia Foundation Funding Programs in CEE (and updates!)" gave an overview of recent funded programs and highlights of successes in CEE, as well as a very fruitful presentation on the Wikimedia Foundation's funding programs and updates for 2023.

Closing session[edit]

At the closing ceremony, Mehman Ibragimov gave an overview of Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2023.

Result[edit]

Thanks to this event, I had the opportunity to learn about the projects carried out by the Wikimedia Foundation, affiliates of the foundation, and other regional chapters. I was able to get an overview of the activities of these organizations and listen to their achievements. I also had a long conversation with some of the attendees about how I should conduct my personal activities, and I had the opportunity to learn from other people even while eating. Thanks to this event, my perspective and thoughts have broadened. The most important point is that I learned how and in what ways I can use what I learned at this event in our local community. I will make some contacts in the future to implement some projects I heard about in our local community thanks to the event.

Critiques[edit]

First of all, I would like to thank the Macedonia team for organizing the event. The meetings and the conference were good, I saw that they invested time and effort. But there was room for improvement in many things. First of all, I expected that basic needs would be covered during the conference, such as water. We had to search and buy water even during the event and dinner. Accommodations were poor, I had many issues such as lost personal items (although I found my computer charger after some research at the front desk, I should not have had to search for it as it was taken from my room without my knowledge or permission), rooms were cold and heaters were broken. We had a city tour after the meetings but the timing could be better as we did not have the opportunity to see and experience the city. For the next events, I would suggest starting the tour earlier. The participants could continue the meetings after the tour.


Prepared by Vikipolimer
Time written: 18-21 October 2022