LESS than 10 per cent of Wikipedia contributors are women, leading to an “alarming gap” in content related to gender and feminism.
Independent art space Paper Mountain is teaming up with the Lawrence Wilson Gallery at UWA to rectify the imbalance with a “Wikipedia Edit-a-thon” this weekend, as part of the global campaign Art+Feminism.
They’re inviting people to come along to either location and learn how to become an editor and improve Wikipedia’s coverage of gender, feminism and art-related topics.
The Art+Feminism campaign has helped create and improve more than 11,000 articles, having been hosted at the Tate in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Locally there’ll be a focus on creating and improving pages for Australian women artists, especially those based in WA.
Paper Mountain’s Megan Hyde says many WA women artists still don’t have Wikipedia pages, and those who do have lots of of information or citations missing.
She says often male wikipedians “aren’t necessarily drawn to the work of women artists”, so the gender imbalance often sees those topics neglected.
All genders are invited to attend the edit-a-thon, but Ms Hyde says one aim is “getting women comfortable with using Wikipedia: showing them how to do it, trying to break down whatever barriers are in place that prohibit women and making women feel like it’s a space for them.”
“You don’t need to have any experience with Wikipedia,” she says, with tutorials on the day covering the basics.
“Once people feel familiar enough with it to start going in and making little edits, we have a bunch of resources about women artists from Australia, and specifically from WA for people to have content at the ready.”
As a peer-reviewed site, other editors are always checking to make sure the facts on a page have references behind them, so they’ll have resources on hand to cite.
At LWAG there’ll be information on the artists featured in the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, while Paper Mountain has gathered crowdsourced material to cite.
The edit-a-thon, part of Women’s History Month, will be on Saturday March 17 at LWAG (UWA Crawley campus) and at Paper Mountain, upstairs at 267 William Street Northbridge, on Sunday March 18.
Both events are from 11.30am to 3.30pm. It’s free but there’s limited space so register via Eventbrite (just type Art+Feminism into their search box).
by DAVID BELL