Wikimedia Community User Group Uganda/Events & Projects/Wikimania 2021/tamdra/Report

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Event Name[edit]

Wikimania 2021: 13th -17th August 2021

My Experiences[edit]

Day 2 - Saturday14 August

I joined the conference on day 2 and started with the session on Wikimedia and GLAM in the Global South I heard about developments in the Sub Saharan part of Africa, the most interesting part was the training conducted in collaboration with AFLIA to train librarians on how to contribute to Wikipedia in various ways. The number of citations, edits and new page creations were really outstanding. The WikiIndaba table was also a great place to chill and learn about the upcoming event which will be hosted virtually by Uganda. I also attended the session on East African regional commitments for the future, a human collaborative reality, the session brought up real solutions for the future and re-energised my zeal to contribute more to the community.

Day 3 - Sunday 15 August
I attended the session on Building a successful Wikimedia Community of African students, I was interested in learning what is possible from their perspective and how I could apply these techniques for my planned projects that will involve peers in the librarianship field. Another interesting session was that on English as a lingua franca of the Wikimedia movement: how do we ensure people's inclusion?, I was astonished at the conclusion that english learning was directly related to privileges in their part of the world yet from the Ugandan perspective it wouldn't mean such a big deal.

Day 4 - Monday16 August

This started with the GLAMWiki Tour (Africa), I enjoyed the different animal collections in the Nairobi Museum that included Flying squirrels, gliding mammals. It was like visiting the museum physically only that this time I was comfortably at home and enjoying this great tour. I retreated to the Unconference space and interacted with a number of people in various locations. Carol from Kenya was a key contact. AfroCrowd's Sherry Antoine was another contact for whom a planned collaborative event would be a possibility in the near future.

Day 5 - Tuesday17 August
The session on the future of Wikimania was of particular interest to me as Wikimedia charted a future for this powerful conference amidst these abnormal times. All the efforts put into ensuring Wikimania thrives were appreciated, we can meet even amidst this COVID pandemic. Wiki Ghonya (how to promote free knowledge using modern music), was an interesting bit to marketing Knowledge solely through music, an idea that I had never given thought to. My last session was on Preventing misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, I enjoyed hearing live experiences from an East African perspective especially on issues to do with the COVID 19 pandemic and how volunteers are responding effectively and helping colleagues dispel the wrong information in circulation.

Connections[edit]

AfroCrowd, I spoke to Sherry Antoine and she proposed an event with the Uganda Wikimedia usergroup. This will be fast tracked an if held successfully will be my very fast event organised directly from a contact out of the conference. I would surely have missed this chance without the attendance scholarship from the Uganda Wikimedia UserGroup.

Carol....of Kenya, we exchanged contacts and proposed future collaborations.

Outcomes[edit]

Gained real experience in attending online conferences, it was wonderful having the flexibility of moving between buildings and the ability to attend any session in any building without physical travel constraints. The ability to listen to other perspectives on topics such as a local language like English having such power to influence things in some countries helped me realise that if we effectively developed our own local languages such as Luganda they could in time turn out to be influential in situations where they are the only requirements for specific projects as well.

I am thankful to the Ugandan Local Wikimedia User community for the funding, guidance and the experience of a life time while I attended Wikimania 2021, Will remain grateful and hopeful for future engagements.

Thank you, Tamdra


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