Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Belgium/Activity/2018

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This is the annual activity report of Wikimedia Belgium over the year 2018.

After the founding in October 2014 and 2015 our first official year, 2018 is our fourth full year in what we existed. This year we focussed on activities and continued building a network.


Wikimedia Belgium in the year 2018 in statistics:

  • 24 open edit-a-thons organised
  • 11 workshops for closed public
  • 5 collaborations with educational institutions
  • 42 presentations given about Wikipedia/Wikimedia
  • 25 other open events organised/participated
  • 3 wikimeets organised
  • 1 general assembly organised
  • 3 board meetings & sessions
  • 45 organisational meetings with external partners or internal meetings as part of a project
  • 1 newsletter published (in 3 languages)
  • 14 reports published (including plans)
  • 13 other publications (including press releases, announcements, official letters)
  • 31 people participated in/presented at 14 conferences or conference like events
  • 1 photo contest organised
  • 3 writing periods organised

Large activities[edit]

New year's event & Wiki Loves Public Space award ceremony[edit]

In July and August 2017 we organised the photo contest Wiki Loves Public Space around modern buildings, public artworks, memorials and monuments. We organised this contest to use the momentum as this was in Belgium the first full summer in what we had Freedom of Panorama. Freedom of Panorama came into force on 15 July 2016 thanks to our efforts and the parliament members who took it up. To celebrate Freedom of Panorama, we organised this photo contest in what we finally could depict Belgium as it is seen every day. Due personal circumstances the award ceremony was delayed to February 2018.

On 16 February 2018 we organised with our main partner, PACKED vzw, a new year's event in Brussels as a way for heritage professionals, Wikimedia volunteers and interested individuals to meet. For this event we chose as venue the Bertouille Rotunda in the Centre for Fine Arts BOZAR, designed by architect Victor Horta. The location perfect because, as of the first of January 2018 or 70 years after the death of its architect Victor Horta, the beautiful BOZAR building entered the public domain. Since the copyright protection on his entire oeuvre has expired, it can be now be freely reused by anyone and therefore also on the Wikimedia ecosystem.

First, we presented the collaboration between PACKED vzw and Wikimedia Belgium which aim to give Belgian heritage a greater digital visibility on Wikimedia platforms and illustrated why and how memory institutions can collaborate with the Wikimedia community to increase their digital visibility, to make their collections available for reuse for external parties, to make their internal workflows more efficient and to increase and facilitate active participation with their audiences.

After the break Wikimedia Belgium invited everyone to raise a glass while the winners of the photography contest Wiki Loves Public Space were announced, looked back on the achievements of 2017 and presented the programme for 2018. Everyone was also invited to visit the exhibitions Watching you, Watching me in the BozarLab and Raw Poetry an exhibition of the Moussem Cities festival.

The winning photos are:

See also:

GenderGap edit-a-thon[edit]

On 8 March, International Women's Day, we organised together with the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the EU in Brussels, and with support from Wikimedia Sweden, the GenderGap edit-a-thon to create and improve biographies on women on Wikipedia. About 14 new articles have been written and at least six have been improved. A good year in a long tradition.


GLAM at Open Belgium[edit]

On 12 March the annual conference Open Belgium took place in Louvain-la-Neuve, organised by Open Knowledge Belgium and supported by Wikimedia Belgium. The conference is about the subject of open knowledge, open data and more.

One of the topics was: Linked Open Data in Limbo: Co-Creation as a Catalyst for Open Cultural Heritage Resources. In this presentation knowledge institutions were asked to rethink their role in society in the context of social and technological changes. This was illustrated with open data projects, including those with Wikipedia/Wikimedia and the open data community was asked to ask the heritage sector for more, and where necessary to contribute with the development of tools.

Iedereen WIKI[edit]

Two participants working together during the edit-a-thon

Iedereen WIKI (Dutch for Everybody WIKI) is a project of the local library of Ternat supported by Wikimedia Belgium. The project's aim is to digitally unlock local knowledge by making digital data accessible for everyone and to stimulate skills. During the project local heritage organisations and other interested people get an introduction and help in editing Wikipedia, also, students edit Wikipedia and upload photos about a local topic.

The project is a pilot project funded by the province of Flemish-Brabant and has two phases: phase one in Spring 2018 and phase two in Autumn 2018.

During April three activities were organised:

  • 21 April 2018 - Multimedia walk in which participants take photographs in Ternat
  • 22 April 2018 - Edit-a-thon Iedereen wiki in library Ternat
  • 26 April 2018 - Wikipedia session with school class in Ternat in which a school class writes a Wikipedia article about the castle of Ternat

New activities were organised in November/December:

  • 5 November 2018 - Edit-a-thon with association Erfgoed Ternat (activity page | opleiding)
  • 17 December 2018 - Second training "Schrijven voor Wikipedia - Ternat"

Public domain month celebration[edit]

Edit-a-thon in the Royal Library of Belgium on 19 May

Each year, at 1 January, new works of authors that died 70 years ago enter the public domain. To celebrate this happening we organised together with a long list of partners a public domain month, also to create awareness of public domain and what it means. Our partners in the project are Constant vzw, PACKED vzw, Royal Library of Belgium, Mundaneum, Muntpunt, Nova Cinema, Rosa vzw and PTTL.

During the month all together about 25 activities were organised spread over the month and spread over various locations. The activities included expositions, vernissages, lectures, ateliers, wiki edit-a-thons and a closing event. (full program of the public domain day month)

Two of the activities that took place were related to Wikipedia/Wikimedia:

  • 19 May - Edit-a-thon in the Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels to write and improve Wikipedia articles about authors and their works that became public domain in 2018.
  • 26 May - Lecture: An afternoon about the potential and practices of the Public Domain in Muntpunt in Brussels where a series of speakers expressed their perspective and value of the public domain.

See also:

Besides the activities organised during the public domain month in May, also various institutions with collections have been asked to release public domain images of this year's public domain authors. This has resulted in:

Edit-a-thon Amnesty International Vlaanderen[edit]

On 20 May 2018 Amnesty International Vlaanderen organised together with Wikimedia Belgium an edit-a-thon to describe together women and/or activists from minority groups and to give them a face on Wikipedia. Because women and/or activists from minority groups often work under the radar, they enjoy even less visibility and recognition than their male co-activists. Amnesty International wants to do something about this through their wiki edit-a-thon.

Erbstuecke edit-a-thon[edit]

location of edit-a-thon

On 22 September 2018, the Goethe Institut in Brussels and Wikimedia Belgium organised a Wikipedia writing session (edit-a-thon) in Brussels in the offices of the Goethe Institut. The edit-a-thon includes an introduction in how to edit and was open to anyone willing to learn and edit Wikipedia. The writing session was part of the Erbstuecke project and organised in multiple countries in Europe. (website)

“Erbstuecke” is a digital project designed by the Goethe-Institut and organised and realised in cooperation with Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. and in consultation with the German Cultural Heritage Committee (Deutsches Nationalkomitee für Denkmalschutz, DNK) in different European cities and towns. The DNK itself is responsible for all activities of the European Year of Cultural Heritage within Germany.

The aim of “Erbstuecke” is to tell the story of our common roots, of how much of Europe can be found in the cultural heritage of Estonia, Portugal and Serbia for instance. We want to encourage to participate as many people and as many European countries as possible with a variety of their “heirlooms”. Cultural cooperations and influences have constituted the European cultural agenda long before the European Union was founded. Our common European heritage keeps on influencing our lives. “Sharing heritage: where the past meets the future” is this year’s slogan.

Women in Tech edit-a-thon[edit]

Editing during the Women in Tech edit-a-thon

Wikipedia is the 5th most visited website in the world, but only 17% of Wikipedia’s biographies are about women. This includes the women in the tech industry. The computer programmers category lists 180 profiles, of whom fewer than 10 are women. But history hasn’t been documented well: a lot of women have contributed to shaping the internet as we know it today. On 13 October 2018, BeCentral and Wikimedia Belgium organised a full day edit-a-thon to document Wikipedia with Women in Technology.

To know which top 50 women should have an article, we used the list with the top 50 women of Forbes at:

Wiki Club Brussels[edit]

First Wiki Club Brussels meeting

After the Women in Tech edit-a-thon we were thinking, only organising an edit-a-thon once does not have much effect. Therefore we decided to start with the Wiki Club Brussels. Also over the years we have learned that people who (newly) edit Wikipedia often like to meet other editors so that they can help each other. Editing Wikipedia together often leads to better results and more fun. Also this gives the opportunity to ask questions to more experienced editors. For that reason we started to organise biweekly Wikipedia writing sessions in BeCentral. At these meetups participants can work on articles in Wikipedia, ask questions and learn how others are editing Wikipedia. The subject participants often focus on are women in the tech industry, but participants are not required to write about this topic.

Since 23 October we plan every two weeks a Wiki Club meeting.

Wikidata workshop + party[edit]

On 29 October 2018, the 6th birthday of Wikidata, Wikimedia Belgium organised together with Packed (expert centre for digital heritage) and the Royal Library of Belgium a Wikidata workshop in Brussels at the site of this national library. The target audience of the Wikidata workshop was the cultural sector, more specifically organisations with a collection they would like to open up through Wikidata and the other Wikimedia platforms. The Wikidata workshop was very successful, fully booked and not everyone could participate. We likely organise another Wikidata workshop in Spring 2019.

After the Wikidata workshop for cultural institutions, we organised an open celebration of the 6th birthday of Wikidata with some food, drinks, balloons and a Wikidata cake!

Writing weeks German-speaking Community[edit]

Map of the German-speaking Community in Belgium

From 10 to 21 December 2018 we organised the writing weeks about the German-speaking Community of Belgium. The concept is simple, you create a project page and ask as many people as possible to write an article about an area on Earth. Almost everywhere around the world there is a rich cultural society, as well as sports, politics, science, nature, history and much more. By focussing on a certain area, editors can still work on their fields of interest, only then focussed on that field of interest from that particular area. In essence a writing week is an online activity, but during the writing weeks period also local edit-a-thons and workshops can be organised on site.

In earlier years we have organised multiple writing weeks before. This year we were thinking in our community what would be a nice as area to focus on to get it better described on Wikipedia. In the months before we imported the protected monuments from the German-speaking Community to Wikidata, as they have their own monuments system with 194 monuments, but still missing on Wikidata or wrongly tagged. During the import it was noticed that many of these historical sites had no Wikipedia article yet, so this area seemed a great subject to organise the writing weeks about. This area is located at the eastern border of Belgium, with the Netherlands to the north and Luxembourg to the south, as well as on the edge of German, Dutch and French, so a nice area to work together throughout the various language communities of Belgium (and beyond). To coordinate the project, we created a general project page on Meta, but for the local language communities a page in Dutch, German and French. Soon after this was followed by enthousiasts from the Italian and Lombard Wikipedia.

During the writing weeks we organised on Saturday 15 December 2018 an edit-a-thon in Eupen, the capital city of the area. For this event we found the great location of the youth hostel (Jugendherberge) in Eupen, situated on a high hill on the edge of the upper part of the city, looking down on the lower part of the city and the edge of the High Fens, tentative World Heritage Site. Some enthusiasts came earlier and visited the area and made photos.

A second edit-a-thon was organised by the enthusiasts from Trento in Italy on 20 December 2018.

In total over 400 content pages have been created or improved, both on Wikipedia and Wikidata.

End of year drink[edit]


Since around the start of Wikimedia Belgium years ago, we work and have worked with many content partners. But in all these years we have especially intensively worked together with PACKED vzw, the expertise centre for digital heritage. They help institutions in the heritage and cultural sector in the current digital age, including sharing knowledge, images and data on the Wikimedia platforms. Over the years they have built a vast network of partners and have an important role in both support and communication. Because of their excellent position in the cultural heritage sector (GLAM), we did many projects together and hosted many events together to reach out to the many cultural institutions of Belgium and share with them the mission we have as Wikimedia.

As PACKED vzw gets funded by the regional government of Belgium, it was the decided that having multiple organisations in the cultural sector is not a good idea, and thus that three existing organisations will be shut down on 1 January 2019, and a new organisation is set-up which incorporates also the work of the expertise centre and the two other organisations.

To celebrate the many projects and events we organised to create more awareness about the Wikimedia platforms and to get more content on the platforms, as well as the long time collaboration together, we organised on 18 December 2018 an end of year drink in one event together with the award ceremony of our annual photo contest Wiki Loves Heritage.

The first part of the event was focussed on the many cultural partners we have worked together with over the years. During this part it was summarised what we had achieved over the years, including the thousands of images on Wikimedia Commons and the thousands of data records imported to Wikidata.

Wiki Loves Heritage[edit]

Logo Wiki Loves Heritage

In Europe 2018 was the European Year of Cultural Heritage. In line with this international thematic year we organised together with multiple partners a Belgian photo contest to make our heritage more visible for the public. This photo contest is called Wiki Loves Heritage and in this photo contest are all four types of heritage eligible.

  • Immovable heritage are archaeological sites, monuments, cultural-historical landscapes, war relics and city and villagescapes.
  • Movable heritage are the collections of art objects, utensils, decorative objects, archival documents, visual material, historic tools and vehicles, etc., which are stored in museums, archives and heritage libraries.
  • Immaterial heritage are the non-tangible habits or customs of the past that one cherishes and still practices today. For example, parties, stories, songs, traditions, social customs, rituals, crafts ...
  • Maritime heritage is the nautical heritage that can sail or float. This concerns both seagoing vessels and vessels for inland waters with various propulsion types, or without their own propulsion, which were used for pleasure or for professional purposes.

The photo contest started on 15 June 2018 and ran until halfway November 2018 and resulted in over 4300 images of heritage in Belgium. (contest page | images category)

The Belgian winners of Wiki Loves Heritage 2018 in Belgium are:

To celebrate the great result, we organised for everyone in Brussels an award ceremony on 18 December 2018 in Brussels, following on the end of year drink that focussed on the partners of the cultural sector. There the photographers of the winning photos received their prize and were thanked for the great photos. See also the Belgian jury report. After the award ceremony we had a drink to celebrate.

Besides there was a Belgian jury that judged all the photos for the whole of Belgium, there was also a regional jury in Flanders and the award ceremony of the Flanders jury will be on 23 February 2019 in Antwerp.

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 3-4 February the annual conference FOSDEM took place at the ULB in Brussels. Wikimedia had no stand at the conference, but many Wikimedians from various countries visited the conference.

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 Brussels. We helped in the organisation. At the conference a presentation was given with the title: Linked Open Data in limbo: Open cultural heritage resources.

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 20 to 22 April. From the board of Wikimedia Belgium two participants joined the conference.

Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU annual meeting[edit]

On 28-29 April the 5th annual meeting for the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU took place in Brussels. Representatives from multiple Wikimedia affiliates came to Brussels to talk about what is going on in the EU policy making and Wikimedia's perspective on it. See also the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU on Meta.


Wikimania is the annual conference for the Wikimedia movement. This year the conference was organised from 18-22 July in Cape Town, South Africa. From Wikimedia Belgium only three volunteers were present at the conference.


On 5-7 October the yearly conference for the German speaking community called WikiCon took place in St. Gallen, Switzerland. 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.

WikiConvention francophone[edit]

On 5-7 October the third edition of the WikiConvention francophone took place in Grenoble. Also a volunteer from Wikimedia Belgium participated in the conference.

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 2214 posts (2014 in 2017), follows 391 accounts, has 1580 followers, liked 568 posts, and is added to 3 lists.

View See our Twitter account and follow us!


General Assembly[edit]

In 2018 Wikimedia Belgium had its fifth General Assembly since the founding of the Wikimedia chapter. It was organised in Brussels on 14 April.

View See General Assembly for more information

Board meetings[edit]

During the year the board had two board meetings to discuss and decide on the various topics that needed to be organised. In the rest of the year we communicated through e-mail and Whatsapp.

View See board meeting for more information


In 2018 we recorded the following metrics. As we depend on the time of local volunteers, the core of activities is providing a good introduction and providing support to participants, due limited time for a lot of activities no or incomplete metrics have been recorded.

Participants Newly registered Content pages Number of edit-a-thons and workshops Number of other activities
1724 325 114643 37 33

See also[edit]