Wiki Loves Brussels
Brussels after the terrorist attacks of March 2016
Wikimeet at Muntpunt library
Reception of a signed certificate of appreciation from Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels Capital Region.
A writing week about the Brussels-Capital Region was held from 4 to 17 April 2016. There is a long tradition of writing weeks in the Dutch language Wikipedia. Writing weeks have been held about the Baltic Region, Brazil, Denmark (in December 2015), the Caucasus, Poland and Sweden. Organized by Romaine, SvenDK and Taketa, supported by Wikimedia Belgium and coordinated on the Dutch language Wikipedia and Meta a call for volunteers was placed on the general forum of de.-, en.-, fr.- and nl.wikipedia. About 100 contributors were found to write and expand articles, donate photographs and create maps. Surprisingly almost half of the users had never written an article for Wikipedia before.
Belgium newspapers and radio stations reported about the writing week. Articles and interviews about the event appeared in Brusselnieuws, Deredactie.be, De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad and VivaCité.
During the event 409 new articles related to the Brussels-Capital Region were uploaded, 48 already existing articles were majorly expanded. New photographies and maps were uploaded as well. Another surprising success was that the event spread around the globe. The articles were written in many different languages: Czech, Dutch (resp. Flemish), French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian (Nynorsk), Romanian, Russian, Slovak and Spanish. The contributors of articles that were not written in Dutch and French had found the event on their own and helped to make the writing week become a very international event.
The Brussels Network of Public Libraries and InfoGroep, a student organisation of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and the Flemish Community Commission helped to organise 11 Wikimeets, where staff of the libraries in Brussels learned how Wikipedia works, what they need to think of when writing an article, and an understanding of what Wikipedia and Wikimedia are about. The Wikimeets were held in the City of Brussels, Anderlecht, Ixelles, Jette, Koekelsberg and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre.
All this happened without any costs for the participants. There was no need for financing the writing week and the Wikimeets since all participants did not have any costs for contributing. Neither did it cost anything to find enough participants.
Even politicians showed interest in the writing week. Belgium has three official regions: the Flemish Region, Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital-Region. The Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, Rudi Vervoort invited contributors to the writing week on 21 April 2016. Because the reception was postponed for 1 hour on short notice a guided tour of the nearby Museum „eB!“ was arranged by his office. The eB! Is a museum about the Brussels-Capital region. Rudi Vervoort explained that Brussels can need all attention that is not related to the March bombings. The slogan of the writing week was, accordingly, Time again for love. On 25 April 2016 the Flemish Minister of Culture Sven Gatz held a meeting with Dutch language contributors.
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