Art+Feminsim Wikipedia Edit-a-thon 1

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Feb 1 2014

Location: 

Online

On February 1st, 2014, approximately 600 participants, convened in 31 locations in six countries to edit Wikipedia articles on women and the arts. During this day, at least 101 new articles were created, and at least 90 articles improved.

The first international Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon in February, 2014 was the result of two simultaneous conversations. Siân Evans and Jacqueline Mabey discussed organizing an event around art and feminism, similar to the Ada Lovelace Day edit-a-thons; Evans wanted to do something concrete as the coordinator of the Women and Art Special Interest group for Art Libraries Society of North America, a professional organizations of art librarians. Mabey mentioned this to Michael Mandiberg, because of his use of Wikipedia in teaching. Mandiberg had actually had a similar conversation earlier that day with curator, Laurel Ptak. At the time, Ptak was doing research around cyberfeminism as a fellow at Eyebeam, a center for art and technology in New York City. He had encouraged her to hold an edit-a-thon focused on art, technology, and feminism. Dorothy Howard, METRO’s Wikipedian-in-Residence and Open Data Fellow, and Richard Knipel of Wikimedia NYC later joined the leadership team.

This project also came on the heels of a very public debate about structural sexism in Wikipedia, catalyzed by an op-ed in The New York Times. Writer Amanda Filipacchi detailed a problematic editorial practice implemented by a number of Wikipedia editors: women were being removed from the “American Novelists” category and moved into a subcategory for “American Women Novelists.” Filipacchi’s piece generated a maelstrom of writing on Facebook and other social media platforms, speaking out against this subcategorization. At the same time, Wikipedians were having an entirely separate conversation on Wikipedia about whether to change this practice of subcategorization. These conversations were worlds apart. Art+Feminism wanted to help give people the training to shape the conversation directly on Wikipedia.

Art+Feminism is envisioned as an intervention as both feminists and artists/art workers/art lovers. A contribution of our specific knowledge to the Commons.

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