Wikimedia’s gender trouble is well-documented. Yet, the reasons for the gender gap are up for debate; suggestions include leisure inequality, how gender socialization shapes public comportment, and the sometimes contentious nature of Wikipedia’s talk pages. The practical effect of this disparity, however, is not. Content is skewed by the lack of female participation. This represents an alarming absence in an increasingly important repository of shared knowledge.
This year, F/LAT Brussels will host the first Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon, on saturday 7th and sunday 8th of March 2015 from 1PM to 6PM, offering two days of communal updating of Wikipedia entries on subjects related to art and feminism. Introduction sessions are planned as well as discussions and presentations around the topics of Wikipedia, feminism and editing. Tutorials for the beginner Wikipedians will be provided, as well as reference materials, childcare and refreshments. Women, women-identified, and male allies welcomed ! A temporary library on Art+Feminism will be accessible, built by the participants, who are invited to bring books and documents to feed the edit-a-thon.
Art+Feminism is a campaign to improve coverage of women and the arts on Wikipedia, and to encourage female editorship. Art+Feminism is envisioned as an intervention as both feminists and artists/art workers/art lovers.
The project was initiated in February 2014 at the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center of New York by Siân Evans (Art Libraries Society of North America’s Women and Art Special Interest Group), Jacqueline Mabey (The office of failed projects), Michael Mandiberg, Laurel Ptak, and Richard Knipel and Dorothy Howard (Metropolitan New York Library Council) of Wikimedia NYC. More than 30 satellite events were organized in Australia, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. The campaign attracted an estimated 600 participants, resulting in more than 100 new Wikipedia articles focused on women and the arts.
The organizers of Art+Feminism were included in the list of the 100 Leading Global Thinkers of the magazine Foreign Policy for their work in 2014. Edit-a-thons are taking place across the globe on International Women’s Day weekend, March 7-8, 2015. This year new countries like Belgium, France and New Zealand are joining the project!