Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Belgium/Activity/2016

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This is the annual activity report of Wikimedia Belgium over the year 2016.

After the founding in October 2014 and 2015 our first official year, 2016 is our second year in what we existed. This year we focussed on setting up activities and started building a network.


Wikimedia Belgium in the year 2016 in statistics:

  • 20 open edit-a-thons organised
  • 8 workshops for closed public
  • 2 collaborations with educational institutions
  • 45 presentations given about Wikipedia/Wikimedia
  • 13 other open events organised/participated
  • 12 wikimeets organised
  • 2 general assemblies organised
  • 4 board meetings
  • 91 organisational meetings with external partners or internal meetings as part of a project
  • 2 newsletters published (each in 3 languages)
  • 17 reports published
  • 29 other publications (including press releases, announcements, official letters)
  • 4 times a volunteer followed a training
  • 27 people participated in/presented at 14 conferences or conference like events
  • 2 photo contests organised
  • 21 photography sessions organised
  • 1 double writing week


On the day of the event it was by law not allowed to publish this photo
The day after Freedom of Panorama came into force in Belgium thanks also to our efforts (with event & party) and we could publish the photo.

This resulted in (registered, among more output) implementation of Freedom of Panorama (FOP) in Belgium, 1737 previously deleted files restored on Commons thanks to FOP, in 6027 new files, 418 new articles in 15 languages and 52 largely improved articles (photo contests + Brussels writing weeks). Another outcome is the addition of 30,000 artworks from 8 Flemish museums to Wikidata + a whitepaper being written about how to do so, another 456 PIDs added to Wikidata, as well as the almost entire collection of one museum in Brussels in Wikidata. Other projects and activities also had output, but those output is not registered or project is still ongoing.

Large activities[edit]

Brussels Writing Weeks[edit]

Wiki Loves Brussels
Wiki Loves Brussels
Wikimeet at Muntpunt library
Reception of a signed certificate of appreciation from Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels Capital Region.

A writing week about the Brussels-Capital Region was held from 4 to 17 April 2016. There is a long tradition of writing weeks in the Dutch language Wikipedia. Writing weeks have been held about the Baltic Region, Brazil, Denmark (in December 2015), the Caucasus, Poland and Sweden. Organized by local users, supported by Wikimedia Belgium and coordinated on the Dutch language Wikipedia and Meta a call for volunteers was placed on the general forum of de.-, en.-, fr.- and nl.wikipedia. About 100 contributors were found to write and expand articles, donate photographs and create maps. Surprisingly almost half of the users had never written an article for Wikipedia before.

Belgium newspapers and radio stations reported about the writing week. Articles and interviews about the event appeared in Brusselnieuws,, De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad and VivaCité.

During the event 409 new articles related to the Brussels-Capital Region were uploaded, 48 already existing articles were majorly expanded. New photographies and maps were uploaded as well. Another surprising success was that the event spread around the globe. The articles were written in many different languages: Czech, Dutch (resp. Flemish), French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian (Nynorsk), Romanian, Russian, Slovak and Spanish. The contributors of articles that were not written in Dutch and French had found the event on their own and helped to make the writing week become a very international event.

The Brussels Network of Public Libraries and InfoGroep, a student organisation of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and the Flemish Community Commission helped to organise 11 wikimeets, where staff of the libraries in Brussels learned how Wikipedia works, what they need to think of when writing an article, and an understanding of what Wikipedia and Wikimedia are about. The Wikimeets were held in the City of Brussels, Anderlecht, Ixelles, Jette, Koekelsberg and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre.

All this happened without any costs for the participants. There was no need for financing the writing week and the Wikimeets since all participants did not have any costs for contributing. Neither did it cost anything to find enough participants.

Even politicians showed interest in the writing week. Belgium has three official regions: the Flemish Region, Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital-Region. The Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, Rudi Vervoort invited contributors to the writing week on 21 April 2016. Because the reception was postponed for 1 hour on short notice a guided tour of the nearby Museum „eB!“ was arranged by his office. The eB! Is a museum about the Brussels-Capital region. Rudi Vervoort explained that Brussels can need all attention that is not related to the March bombings. The slogan of the writing week was, accordingly, Time again for love. On 25 April 2016 the Flemish Minister of Culture Sven Gatz held a meeting with Dutch language contributors.

View See the project page for more information

Wiki Loves Art[edit]

Logo Wiki Loves Art
Logo Wiki Loves Art
Participant of Wiki Loves Art
Participant of Wiki Loves Art

Wiki Loves Art is a photography contest in what we ask the public to take photos in participating museums and upload them on Wikimedia Commons for use in Wikipedia. In this way we try to reduce the limited availability of Belgian art in Wikipedia, and to get acquainted with museums and other cultural heritage institutions in Belgium.

For Wiki Loves Art, 2015 was the year of the preparations, 2016 the year of the contest. After more than a year of preparations, in July and August 2016 we organised the photo contest Wiki Loves Art, where we asked photographers and art lovers to take photos in the participating museums. Throughout Belgium, in these two months 13 museums and libraries opened their doors to get in this way better described and visible on Wikipedia and to make their managed heritage more accessible to the global audience.

The project has been organised by Wikimedia Belgium, Packed vzw, Faro, Open Knowledge Belgium and Creative Commons Belgium. In preparation of the contest, we published in April a one pager with explanations (invitation), and in June we organized an explanation session in an afternoon for interested institutions.

Eventually 13 institutions opened their doors to the volunteer photographers to bring their museum/library and collection on Wikipedia better in the picture and to get it better described. At least 11 articles have been written and 3 been extended during the two writing sessions at the PhotoMuseum of Antwerp and the Royal Library of Belgium. In total more than 3,000 photos have been uploaded of the exhibited works and objects, the buildings of the institutions and the events. The participating institutions (with photo category) were:

  • Ceramic Museum in Andenne (photos)
  • FOMU Photo Museum in Antwerp (photos)
  • Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library in Antwerp (photos)
  • Halle Gate in Brussels (photos)
  • Cinquantenaire Museum in Brussels (photos)
  • Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels (photos)
  • Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History (photos)
  • Museum of Fine Arts in Gent (photos)
  • Bardelaere Museum in Lembeke (photos)
  • Library of Université de Liège (photos)
  • Kazerne Dossin – Memorial in Mechelen (photos)
  • Mundaneum in Mons/Bergen (photos)
  • Musée Royal de Mariemont in Morlanwelz (photos)

In September-October a jury selected the winners from these thousands of photos. At 25 November a prize ceremony took place.

View See also the websites of Wiki Loves Art on: and Wiki Loves Art.
View See the winning photos of Wiki Loves Art 2016

Wiki Loves Monuments[edit]

In September we organised for the 5th time Wiki Loves Monuments in Belgium and Luxembourg. Since 2011 the photo contest was organised four times on a row, we skipped 2015 to have a break and to organise Wiki Loves Art. During September we organised four photo walks, held in Ghent, Mechelen, Antwerp, and Liège. The contest has led to the great result of 3007 photos being uploaded in total, 2988 photos of monuments from Belgium, 13 photos of monuments from Luxembourg, and 6 other photos of subjects that are not a monument. In total 121 people participated in the contest, 116 in Belgium and 7 in Luxembourg. In November the jury judged the photos to determine a winner and on 25 November we organised the prize ceremony in Brussels.

View See also the website of Wiki Loves Monuments on:
View See the winning photos of Wiki Loves Monuments 2016

Workshops & presentations[edit]

Volunteers and members of Wikimedia Belgium give/organise during the year various workshops, edit-a-thons and presentations about Wikipedia, (uploading photos to) Wikimedia Commons, editing and using Wikidata, and more. As well as how to edit Wikipedia and write an article.

A series of sessions were for a limited public only, including a political party, two times a company, and to for GLAMs and our partners.

During Wiki Loves Art two open writing sessions were organised.

During the Brussels writing weeks another 11 open writing sessions were organised in the various libraries and university of Brussels. To prepare these sessions 3 closed sessions for university and library staff were organised to provide them a basic training in editing Wikipedia.

Just For The Record[edit]

The team of Just For The Record organised seven events in what participants could learn about the gendergap on Wikipedia and edit articles to improve the gender equality. The events were organised in various locations throughout Brussels.

  • 15 January - Just For The Record: Heroines edit-a-thon in the Pianofabriek
  • 27 February - Just For The Record: Gender Redirect edit-a-thon in Amazone
  • 8 March - Just For The Record: stand for the International Women’s Day in Muntpunt
  • 10 June - Just For The Record: Bots, robots, cyborgs edit-a-thon in Muntpunt
  • 18 June - Just For The Record: Bots, robots, cyborgs edit-a-thon in Muntpunt
  • 22 October - Just For The Record: Red links in Beursschouwburg
  • 12 November 2016 - Just For The Record at Pink Screens Festival in Muntpunt
View See the project page for more information

Conferences and conference like events[edit]

Volunteers active in Wikimedia Belgium visit regularly conferences and conference like events (study days, symposiums, seminars, workshops, etc) inside and outside Belgium to stay informed, to inspire organisations to release materials on Wikimedia Commons, to get ideas for new activities, and more, all to improve the content of Wikipedia and her sister projects.


On 30-31 January the annual conference FOSDEM took place at the ULB in Brussels. Wikimedia Belgium had a stand at the conference about Wikimedia, MediaWiki and Wikidata, supported by the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland.

Open Belgium[edit]

Open Belgium is an annual conference about open knowledge, open data and more in Belgium. This year's edition was organised in Antwerp. At the conference we gave presentations about Wiki Loves Art, and Linked Open Data publications through Wikidata & persistent identification in Flemish museums.

Wikimedia Conference[edit]

The Wikimedia Conference (WMCON) is an annual meeting of representatives of Wikimedia Chapters and Affiliates, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees and other movement groups. The conference is used to exchange experiences, share best practices, and learn about tools and projects. This year the conference was organised in Berlin from 19 to 25 May. From the board of Wikimedia Belgium two participants joined the conference.


Wikimania is the annual conference for the Wikimedia movement. This year the conference was organised from 22 to 26 June in Esino Lario, Italy. From Wikimedia Belgium only two volunteers were present at the conference.

Ready to reach out[edit]

During the presidency of the Netherlands in the first half of 2016, a conference about cultural heritage was organised in Amsterdam. Two people from Wikimedia Belgium participated. The conference was called Ready to reach out; conference on digitalisation of cultural heritage, and took place on 29-30 June. During the conference the opening took place of the thematic writing weeks about cultural heritage by the Dutch minister for education, culture and science.

WikiConvention francophone[edit]

On 19-21 August the first edition of the WikiConvention francophone took place in Paris. One volunteer of Wikimedia Belgium visited the conference and gave there two presentations, one about the gender gap in Belgium and one about WMBE’s work towards Freedom of panorama.


On 16 to 18 September the yearly conference for the German speaking community called WikiCon took place in Stuttgart. At a local venue Wikipedians from all over the German language area and beyond came together to talk about projects, initiatives, policies and more. Also a volunteer from Wikimedia Belgium participated in the conference.

State of the Map[edit]

In 2016 the OpenStreetMap Conference State of the Map was organised in Brussels on 23-25 September. It is the annual conference of OpenStreetMap and is organised by the OpenStreetMap Foundation. One volunteer from Wikimedia Belgium joined the conference.


Cultuurforum is an annual conference and meeting for actors in the cultural sector, organized by the Flemish Ministry for culture. In 2016 the edition was organised on 4 October and two volunteers from Wikimedia Belgium joined to give two presentations about how the cultural sector can collaborate with Wikipedia/Wikimedia and release materials.

Wikipedia in the Public Library[edit]

Wikimedia Nederland organised the study day Wikipedia in the Public Library in the Royal Library in The Hague on 6 October. At the study day the possible collaborations in collaborating with Wikipedia/Wikimedia were presented. Also representatives from Belgian libraries were present, as well as a volunteer from Wikimedia Belgium.


BeMuseum is an annual seminar for museums and other GLAMs in Belgium. During the event all kinds of best practices are presented in a diverse set of subjects. The 2016 edition took place at 14 October in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. A volunteer of Wikimedia Belgium gave a presentation about Wiki Loves Art and collaborating with Wikimedia/Wikipedia.

Wikimedia Conferentie Nederland[edit]

The annual conference of Wikimedia Nederland was organised this year again in Utrecht. The Wikimedia Conferentie Nederland took place at 19 November and attracted many volunteers from the Netherlands, Belgium and also Germany. During the conference volunteers from Wikimedia Belgium gave four presentations on various subjects.

Durable digitalisation in museum's world[edit]

On 16 December one of our partners organised a study day about durable digitalisation. This study day took place in the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent and the Vlaamse Kunstcollectie, and was largely about how Wikipedia, Commons, and Wikidata could be used by museums and why this would benefit the working of the museums. There was especially attention for the project with multiple museums earlier this year on Wikidata and the whitepaper that came out of it.

Publications and Public broadcasting[edit]

In 2016 Wikimedia Belgium published multiple announces, press releases, and official letters.

  • 20 December - Sending out official letter to Minister Peeters (minister for Employment, the Economy and Consumer Affairs with responsibility for Foreign Trade), Minister De Croo (minister for Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post), and Ms. Séverine Waterbley (General Director of the Directorate General for Economic Regulations) to inform about the Wikimedia position in the matter of the Directive of the European Parliament and Council on copyright in the digital single market (2016/0280 (COD))

In January also the whitepaper Flemish art collections, Wikidata and Linked Open Data was published.

Social media[edit]

Wikimedia Belgium is also active on social media to reach out to the world about our activities, projects, and to promote the vision of free knowledge with the people in Belgium and beyond. So far, the Wikimedia BE Twitter account posted 1361 posts (427 in 2016), follows 361 accounts, has 1010 followers, liked 125 posts, and is added to 4 lists.

View See our Twitter account and follow us!


General Assembly[edit]

General Assembly (23 January), Brussels

In 2016 Wikimedia Belgium had its second General Assembly since the founding of the Wikimedia chapter. It was organised in Brussels on 23 January.

A second (extraordinary) General Assembly was organised on 6 July in Brussels to decide on complaints concerning our former treasurer.

View See General Assembly for more information

Board meetings[edit]

During the year the board had four board meetings to discuss and decide on the various topics that needed to be organised. The board meetings were three times organised in Brussels, and one time in Antwerp.

View See board meeting for more information

See also[edit]