ONLINE CAMP: Wikipedia for Peace: No More War!
Action for Peace #43
Wikipedia is one of the world’s most visited websites and SCI Switzerland believes that we can play a positive role in promoting peace, by adding content and information on various activists and organizations.
After 8 days of our online camp to edit Wikipedia articles about the history of Service Civil International, we are proud to have written more than 50 articles in English, Armenian, Croatian, Russian, Spanish, Catalan and German. We also uploaded lots of new pictures from the SCI archives to Wikimedia Commons and made these pictures now freely available for everyone!
Among the articles we wrote, some were very necessary: There was no article about “workcamp” yet in English, Russian or Spanish – we fixed that! Also many activists who were important in the history of the organization now have articles in many languages.
Some of the stories behind the articles are quite meaningful: One Russian participant, who lives close to the Ukrainian border, translated the article about the Moscow anti-war protests against the Russian invasion of Ukraine from English to Russian, as it hadn’t existed yet, and she talked about how this was in a way a transformative moment for her. Some people outside the camp discovered our article list as well and wrote articles about people in our list on their own.
The participants really liked both workshops, especially the second one with external guest speakers. Felix Ziegler, who was a conscientious objector in Switzerland in the 1960s, told them about his really crazy and inspiring life and then afterwards two representatives from the peace organization IFOR, who work on conscientious objection with the UN, were telling us about their approach to peace activism. In the first workshop, I tried out some methods of digital facilitation (World Café, Violence Barometer), both of which worked well and got good feedback from the participants as well.
They really appreciated the concept of meeting everyday in the afternoon and having support with editing in the morning via Zoom or Facebook Messenger. One of the best aspects was that everybody in the group had a “task” every day; one of the tasks was to organise an evening activity for the group and every single evening, parts of the group kept hanging out on Zoom to talk, to discuss or to play games.
All participants would participate in an online camp like this again and they want to continue writing Wikipedia articles. There is quite a potential for this online format for the future, both during the rest of the pandemic and even without a pandemic.
Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who participated in this camp with their motivation to exchange and learn across virtual borders! Thank you also to Heinz from the SCI Archives in La-Chaux-de-Fonds and to Wikimedia Switzerland for supporting the project!
You can find all the articles they already wrote here: