WikiWomen's History Month is a wiki-coordinated program of distributed events and editathons focused on WikiProject Women's History, to be held throughout the world in celebration of International Women's Day and Women's History Month during March 2012. This project is welcoming everyone, especially new Wikipedians and Wikipedian-wannabes looking to contribute on women in history.
In Catalonia, we joined the project, and we prepared a Wikipedia edit-a-thon in order to improve the biography of w:en:Ángeles Santos Torroella (Portbou, 1911). She is a living Catalan surrealist painter who is more than 100 year old!. So it was a good reason for an edit-a-thon. So, on March 24, a little but encouraged group of 8 Wikipedians coming from different cities of Catalonia attended the event. The activity took place at the Empordà Museum, located in Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dalí.
Anna Capella, Director of the museum, generously helped us at the museum library with loads of documentation and good advises and a keynote about the artist's life. Museum professionals are a needed piece on this kind of projects, as they can give us the best existing resources about their local artists. Their expertise mixed with Wikipedia reach is the best cocktail to improve the online presence of our heritage and artists.
We had some newbies, including a Grammar teacher and some art historians, who also came by and helped us. After a whole morning of typing and reading, the Catalan Wikipedia entry was 15 times bigger!!! We are now very proud of Ángeles Santos biography in Catalan. We are still working on it, and on the forthcoming weeks we will translate it to English and Spanish. Some French friends already offered themselves for translation, via Twitter. You are also invited to translate it to your own language!
Our edit-a-thon was one of the 2 European activities related to the project coordinated and leaded by the great Sarah Stierch. The other one was held in Warsaw a couple of weeks ago. Let's close the gender gap!
Glamwiki workshop inside a train!
On March we went to Vilanova i la Geltrú a city situated 40 km south-west of Barcelona, promoting the educational branch of the glamwiki projects. Our strategy was to organize 2 events: one aimed to educators, teachers, and the other one to museum professionals who work in the educational department.
On Saturday we presented Wikipedia and its related values, and how to use it in the classroom to 125 teachers from the County Educational Resources Center. The presentation emphasized the possibilities offered by this tool in the classroom: education for democratic values, critical thinking, students acting as an active constructor of knowledge, motivation, resources used to work on basic skills, including inclusion issues. Some of the attendees were so impressed that repeated the second day.
The second presentation was held at the Catalonia Railway Museum. Our presentation was the main activity of a seminar called Conversations at the Station, where museum experts from all over Catalonia discuss annually and work together to share common challenges. This year's theme was Wikipedia + museums + education = success. This meeting was specifically focused for museum professionals who works in the education department of museums, but with special interest in local museums. About 60 professionals attended.
First we explained some #glamwiki successful projects that encouraged museum professionals to open the museum to their community, using Internet and Wikipedia as a way to improve their online network. Later during the day, a High School teacher who is also a Wikimedian presented her recommendations about how can museum educational departments incorporate Wikipedia into its catalog of activity proposals for schools.
After a break full of questions and rich conversations, we did a Wikipedia projects workshops inside the trains of their permanent exhibit. Using the same system that we did at GLAMcamp DC, participants formed groups of 3-4 people and thought and proposed Wikipedia activities that could be implemented at their museums.
This workshops was very useful, because, apart from Wikipedia, we discussed interesting topics, such as the role of intellectuals, the aesthetic experience of students in a museum, the relationship between experts and disclosure or dissemination of the new tasks of cultural managers. Soon I'll blog with the conclusions of this talk.
Nearly 200 people between the two days, many outcomes and proposals for implementing Wikipedia on their forthcoming projects, so we believe that this week at Vilanova will become a breeding ground for future Wikipedians very motivated, as they arise immediately applicable ideas and keep in touch with them to keep it in good company.