Wikipedia’s ‘Wiki Loves Africa’ contest enters second year, to showcase African culture and fashion

Have you seen this on the top banner of the Wikipedia page once you tried to search something - 'WIKI LOVES AFRICA' - and wondered what this is all about?

Well, WikiAfrica, an international collaborative project between Africa Centre and Lettera27 that is designed to Africanize Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation and Fondation Orange have partnered to launch an online project dubbed as Wiki Loves Africa.

The competition is set to run for two months – from October 1 to November 30 – and was launched across the continent and beyond.

Wiki Loves Africa is a public annual contest where people across Africa can contribute media (photographs, video and audio) about their environment to Wikimedia Commons for use on Wikipedia and other project websites of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wiki Loves Africa particularly encourages participants to contribute media that illustrate a specific theme for that year. Each year the theme changes and could include any universal, visually rich and culturally specific topic (for example, markets, rites of passage, festivals, public art, cuisine, natural history, urbanity, daily life, notable persons, etc).

The project runs across the whole continent, however, some specific actions (training, communication etc.) are held in some countries with national organisers.

The 2015 theme is: Cultural Fashion and Adornment. The competition scope is media that shows representations of cultural dress and fashion; specifically fashion that is defined by local cultural influences and determines cloth, styles, ways of wrapping and hanging, etc. Adornment is also part of the theme, which means that media of culturally defined jewellery, make-up, hairstyles and headdresses, cloths, scarification and tattoos, woven materials, etc. can also be entered.

To join the competition participants will be required to follow 4 steps outlined below. Step 1: Take some photos.This is the fun part! You can find a list of the types of photos that can be entered here. On this page you will also find tips on how to take the best pictures, videos or audio.

Step 2: Select the best.Your media (photo, video clip or audio clip) might go onto Wikipedia to illustrate an article. So choose the photos that would enhance an article about the subject of your media. Select the best of your photos and media where the subject matter is clear and in focus. The best photos are often those that have the most interesting angle or an unusual food, but remember some pictures

Step 3: Register on Commons to take part.You have to be registered on Wikimedia Commons in order to enter the competition and finally Step 4: Use the Upload Wizard to enter your photographs

The prizes for the competition will include a Samsung Galaxy Tab S, an Africa-published book, Mystery gifts from the Wikimedia Store, print of the participant winning picture, amazon gift vouchers among other gifts.

After uploading the photos all images will be uploaded on Wikipedia website called Commons where all images that are used on Wikipedia are uploaded too. This is a large and wonderful database of images, audio, and video files. All those media files are published under free licences – this means that they are free to be re-used by anyone as long as they say who authored the photograph and keep them free (under the same licence).

The competition was conceptualised by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood as a fun and engaging way to rebalance the amount of visual representations and relevant content that exists about Africa on Wikipedia.

The images donated will also be available for use on the internet and beyond, under the Creative Commons license.

The international Wiki Loves Africa competition is organised by the Wikimedia community that created Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, and built the free media archive Wikimedia Commons. Wiki Loves Africa is supported by WikiAfrica at the Africa Centre and is funded by the Wikimedia Foundation and local supporters in individual countries.

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