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 organisations.
Participants were very motivated and they ended up with writing 44 articles, some of them translations, but most of them original research on topics that didn’t have articles in any language before.
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 organisation 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.