A public discussion at Spazju Kreattiv will be addressed by prominent Wikipedia editors from around Europe. Titled Documenting Maltese Heritage through Wikipedia – Added Value or Waste of Time?, the discussion will be held in Studio B on the 2nd February at 6pm.
John Cummings, who is currently Wikimedian-in-residence at UNESCO, will be joined by various local and international cultural operators to explore the digital documentation of culture, heritage and the arts, as well as issues related to copyright and digital volunteerism. Aside from his current work with UNESCO, Cummings has also held similar roles at the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum in London, and has worked extensively with Wikimedia UK and various charity and public organisations (including Amnesty International and the Department of Culture, Media and Sports in the UK) to help them integrate their work within the Wikimedia movement.
Other speakers include Xabier Cañas, the project leader for Donostiapedia, Rebecca O’Neill, a member of Wikimedia Ireland and expert on citizen curation, and Birte Christensen Dalsgaard from the Digital Humanities Lab in Denmark.
They will be joined by a number of local cultural operators, including Sandro Debono, project leader for MUŻA – the new National Museum of Arts being developed under the umbrella of Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture.
Other speakers include Vincent Zammit, coordinator of the Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies at the Institute for Tourism Studies, and Velislava Hillman who is currently reading for her PhD in Digital Media with the University of Westminster.
The discussion will be chaired by Professor Seamus Ross (University of Toronto).
This event takes place at a pertinent time, in the wake of the Wikimedia Foundation’s recent public position against immigration restrictions established by the US administration, whereby Wikipedia was described as “an example of what is possible when borders do not hinder the exchange of ideas”. The documentation and sharing of knowledge and culture is at a crucial juncture both at an international as well as a local level, with Malta due to host the European Capital of Culture title next year, and various Public Cultural Organisations placing renewed emphasis on the legacy and documentation of cultural work in Malta.
The discussion is open to all, and will be followed by light refreshments. A hands-on Wikipedia editing session on the topic of art and cultural heritage in Malta will be held the following day.
This activity is a collaboration between Wikimedia Community Malta, the Department of Library Information and Archive Sciences at the University of Malta, Spazju Kreattiv, and the Gabriel Caruana Foundation, supported by the COST network KNOWeSCAPE – Analyzing the dynamics of information and knowledge landscapes. Click here for more information.