BY TENDAI SAUTA
The NATIONAL Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) has partnered with AfroCuration to host a hybrid mentoring program aimed at training young people between the ages of 18 and 26 to tell their stories through WikiAfrica, an imitation version of Wikipedia.
In a statement, NGZ spokesman Zvikomborero Mandangu said the two-day program, open to local youth in colleges and universities, will start on December 9 in Harare and feature influential speakers from the industry. arts and culture.
“The AfroCuration event will focus on supporting young writers and artists to engage in a global debate in favor of the discolonization discourse, as it is high time that African history was told by Africans,” said he declared.
“The objective of the AfroCuration workshop will be to guide these young minds in resolving topical issues such as families and community colonial experiences, the decolonization of education and heritage, nationalism and contemporary art. in Zimbabwe, religion and belief systems, the Zimbabwean diet, beauty and family. “
Mandangu said the WikiAfrica movement has consistently launched and led innovative, multi-faceted initiatives that have activated communities and directed content to Wikipedia.
“In a way, WikiAfrica will be very complementary to African academics who have world-renowned thesis positions, but lack visibility due to the lack of effective knowledge transfer mechanisms and effective information management systems for African knowledge bodies, ”he said.
“WikiAfrica’s educational program aims to change and introduce a new generation of publishers based in Africa to Wikipedia. While learning about knowledge systems, theory of knowledge, and critical thinking, students will also contribute essential and researched articles that reflect their geographic and social realities.
Mandangu said the recently concluded International Conference on African Culture resolved to recover genuine African artefacts and artefacts from Western and African museums for repatriation and restitution, as opposed to digital archiving in libraries. and international museums.
“The position paper or concept document justifies that WikiAfrica is an international movement that takes place on the African continent and beyond. It encourages individuals, interested groups and organizations to create, develop and improve online content about Africa, ”he said.
“This was born from a collaboration between the Lettera27 Foundation (now the Moleskine Foundation) and Wikimedia Italia in 2006, conceptualized the idea and released all of its content under a Creative Commons license to facilitate sharing, innovation and maximize impact. “
Mandangu said African stories told by Africans were still very few and lacking in optimization.
“What has been written about Africa has been written mainly by Westerners. This has created a scarcity of information across an entire continent of about a billion people, ”he said.
“This has the effect of limiting our understanding of the complexities that exist over such a vast geographic space around issues as diverse as culture, economics, politics, history or contemporary entertainment.”
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