Feminists call for women writers on Wikipedia

Illustration by Steven Adamo

By Luis Castilla

The Vincent Price Art Museum will host the annual Art+Feminism “edit-a-thon,” a Wikipedia training session to improve the image of women on Wikipedia, on Saturday. 

This event will focus on editing Wikipedia pages of Latin women and non-binary artists. 

No editing experience is necessary and people are encouraged to bring their laptops or tablets to join in.

Art+Feminism is a worldwide campaign that aims to inform the public about gender identities and end the misrepresentation        of non-binary people online by filling in the gaps of knowledge  in Wikipedia articles. 

Art+Feminism’s website says this is one way women are silenced. It also says that less than ten percent of Wikipedia editors are women. Their workshop’s goal is to change that statistic.

The training session will teach beginners editing skills like, fact-checking, uploading images, adding citations, checking grammar and editing articles so that they are easier to read.

According to Art+Feminism’s website, “These events gather people together to learn how to edit on Wikipedia. New editors then use the skills they’ve learned to contribute to existing articles that are in serious need of contribution.”

Art+Feminism’s main focus is editing Wikipedia pages, because Wikipedia is the fifth most popular website in the world, according to Alexa, an online traffic company. 

Since March 2014, the campaign has organized over 500 events around the world. 

They have edited the Wikipedia pages of artists Tina Charlie, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ana Mendieta, Augusta Savage, and Frances Stark.

These “edit-a-thons” can be organized anywhere by accessing Art+Feminism’s online application form. 

Art+Feminism dispatches Wikipedians, people who have sufficient experience using the website, to teach beginners how to edit. 

Their website also contains a starter kit with the materials necessary to begin an Art+Feminism training session. 

The kit is free and holds Creative Commons licensing, meaning it is accessible with no permission needed.

This event is one of many Art+Feminism training sessions being hosted by museums throughout Southern California this month. The training session  will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday at VPAM. 

For more information on other Art+Feminism workshops in Southern California, visit their website at artandfeminism.org.

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