New Yorkers are taking a red pen to Wikipedia in the name of justice and feminism.
As part of a worldwide campaign, coinciding with Women’s History Month, institutions across the city are hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon to wipe out erroneous information and add new facts and pages about women and femmes (those who identify as women) who have made an impact on history.
Hundreds of artists, activists, preservationists, movers and shakers and numerous terms have not been given much attention or written about at all on Wikipedia, according to the group organizing the event, Art + Feminism.
The “feminist art movement” page, for example, only has its history section filled out. The famous “Quilts of Gee’s Bend” is lacking information, too.
The event, which can run anywhere from three to eight hours, will be held at more than 20 museums, coffee shops, colleges and community centers in the city and at around 300 places around the world, according to organizers.
New Yorkers can participate at the following:
- The Museum of Modern Art, 4 W. 54th St., midtown, March 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Kickstarter headquarters, 58 Kent St., Brooklyn, March 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side, March 11, from 2 to 6 p.m.
- Interference Archive, 314 Seventh St., Brooklyn, March 18, from 2 to 6 p.m.
- Bard Graduate Center, 18 W. 86th St., Upper West Side, March 17, from 1 to 4 p.m.
- SVA Library, 380 Second Ave., second floor, Gramercy Park, March 24, from 12:30 to 5 p.m.
- Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave., East Harlem, March 25, from 3 to 6 p.m.
- Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Ave., Maspeth, April 8, from 2 to 7 p.m.
The movement has caught on like wildfire since it started in 2014, when a 2011 Wikimedia Foundation survey revealed that fewer than 10 percent of Wikipedia contributors identify as female.
For that reason, Siân Evans and Jacqueline Mabey decided to kick off their own Wikipedia edit-a-thon based on a similar event that is geared toward STEM subjects.
Now, more than 8,000 people take part each year.
“For five years, we’ve planted seeds and invited people who care about the unjust erasure of the histories of cis and trans women, to unearth and root out dangerous mythologies and gendered stereotypes about women and femmes from Wikipedia,” organizer McKensie Mack said. “We don’t just think about the impact of building awareness about the gender gap on Wikipedia in terms of what’s countable, like article edits — our greatest impact is modeling a form of defiance that kicks back at systems of misogyny and demands that they be dismantled.”
Today, Wikipedia is one of the most-visited sites on the internet, used by everyone, from college students to seniors.
“It is the backbone of our digital commons and, increasingly, the backbone of the Internet — its Creative Commons-licensed content is used to populate the pages of other websites,” the organizers, Evans, Mabey, Mack and Michael Mandiberg, wrote in an email. “Thus, absences on Wikipedia echo across the Internet.”