Writing to the Ukrainian WikipediaGeplaatst op 23 maart 2023
On 28-29 January the first two Ukrainian writing workshops took place in the Netherlands, with over 20 participants in Amsterdam and Rotterdam learning to edit Ukrainian Wikipedia.
These events were part of the Ukrainian Wikimarathon, the annual campaign organised by Wikimedia Ukraine and Ukrainian Wikipedia community since 2014. Every year around Ukrainian Wikipedia’s birthday on 30 January events are organised to familiarise Ukrainians with Wikipedia and help everyone create an article on Ukrainian Wikipedia as a ‘birthday gift’. This campaign was co-created by Ihor Kostenko, the Wikipedian of the Year 2014 who was sadly killed during the Revolution of Dignity on 20 February 2014, before the first edition could happen. Over the years Wikimarathon became the biggest edit-a-thons campaign on Ukrainian Wikipedia, with a few dozen events in different cities organised by local communities, and the number of articles created during this period is typically at least twice as high as during normal periods.
Ukrainian Wikipedia writing events in the Netherlands
The Russian invasion of Ukraine brought unique challenges to organising such a campaign in 2023. On one hand, due to security constraints and electricity cuts, fewer events could be organised in Ukraine. On the other hand, a significant number of Ukrainian refugees under temporary protection in various European countries, including in the Netherlands, led us to the idea of organising first-ever Ukrainian Wikipedia writing events outside Ukraine.
Two Dutch cities with the biggest Ukrainian communities were chosen, Rotterdam (where the event was hosted by the Ukrainian House / Okraïens Huis) and Amsterdam (where Wikimedia Nederland covered a rental of a hall in the OBA Oosterdok library via FOKA). The Amsterdam event on Saturday 28 January had 9 attendees (all of whom registered on Wikipedia), while Rotterdam on Sunday 29 January attracted 15 people (5 of them did not create a Wikipedia account, they came to the Ukrainian community centre and decided to learn about Wikipedia). Participants could choose a topic themselves and there were also some suggestions provided. Some chose to write about the Netherlands, for example, Ukrainian Wikipedia now has a longer article about Mokum (Мокум) than the Dutch one, and also has a page about the Rotterdam Zoo in Blijdorp (Роттердамський зоопарк). Others opted for their interests, such as an alumnus of Kharkiv University creating an article about a famous professor (Салтиков Микола Миколайович) or an anime fan writing about Tokyo Avengers (Токійські месники). All participants received small Wikipedia souvenirs.
These events became possible owing to collaboration between Wikimedia Nederland and Wikimedia Ukraine with support from Ukrainian House in Rotterdam and Stichting Oekraïners in Nederland. Multiple participants reported interest in joining further Wikimedia events in Ukrainian (including one willing to invite the Dutch host family to a Dutch-language writing event) so hopefully this is not the last Ukrainian Wikipedia event in the Netherlands.