Revitalizing the Digital Landscape of Dhaka: Team Korikath’s “Chitrolekha Dhaka 2023” Campaign on Bangla Wikipedia

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Project Korikath is arranging an edit-a-thon and image utilization campaign, titled “Chitrolekha Dhaka 2023” on Bangla Wikipedia from April 9, 2023 at 6:01 pm UTC to April 24, 2023 at 5:59 pm UTC. The objective of this campaign is to bridge the gap in local topics, with a particular emphasis on subjects that relate to the heritage and daily life of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The term “Chitro” translates to image, and “Lekha” translates to writing in Bangla; the simple meaning is, “Dhaka written in Images”. We wrote Dhaka in images during our photowalks and now we are approaching to transfer that knowledge from visual to text form. “Chitrolekha” is also the Bangla name of the Mintaka star system. This campaign is thematically rooted in Project Korikath’s extensive documentation activity of visual knowledge on Dhaka over several months.

User:Meghmollar2017 has thoughtfully incorporated the essence of Rickshaw Art, a crucial element of Dhaka’s folk culture, into the logo for “Chitrolekha Dhaka 2023”. (Photo by User:Meghmollar2017, published under CC BY-SA 4.0 on Wikimedia Commons)

The objective of Project Korikath is to narrow down the gap in the representation of local knowledge on the Wikimedia platform. The project prioritizes Wikimedia Commons, recognizing the significant impact of visual knowledge in comparison to information presented in plain textual forms. By incorporating diverse visual representations, the initiative seeks to enable the inclusion of a wider audience, allowing for the involvement of “every single human being” in the knowledge creation process.

But the realization that our expectations were not being fulfilled prompted us to reconsider our perspectives and expand our horizons. As a result, “Chitrolekha Dhaka 2023” was brought into being.

We had no resources and a very limited skill set during the first days of Project Korikath. However, with the support of Wikicred, we were able to make significant strides in building fundamental capabilities within the core team. That is another story and can be found here.

Our approach was relatively straightforward. Prior to visiting any location, we conducted a survey of the Wikipedia entries concerning that particular place to identify areas where good images were lacking. We then proceeded to capture images of those subjects and uploaded them to Wikimedia Commons, subsequently adding them to the appropriate page. Nevertheless, our fieldwork revealed that numerous noteworthy subjects in these locations lacked a presence on Wikimedia projects, especially on Wikipedia. In instances where an entry did exist, it was often a stub. The frequency of such occurrences was significant, underscoring the evident gap in local representation on Wikipedia. Nevertheless, we didn’t miss the opportunity to capture images of these subjects and uploaded them to Wikimedia Commons.

With a substantial collection of images (and videos) pertaining to local subjects in Dhaka, Bangladesh, we have compiled a list of these topics that are absent from Bangla Wikipedia. Now we are launching a campaign to reduce the knowledge gap on Bangla Wikipedia by incorporating information and images related to these local topics.

The campaign comprises two components: an edit-a-thon and an image utilization competition. Participants will be required to translate, expand, or create articles that pertain to Dhaka from a provided list, in addition to incorporating images into pre-existing articles. Points will be awarded in accordance with the defined weights of each task as set by the organizing team.

Our aim is to integrate local topics that depict the heritage and daily lives of the inhabitants of Dhaka city into Wikipedia. We plan to pursue this campaign annually under varied themes. Who knows, perhaps next year’s theme will center on your city or community!

Find the campaign on meta wiki and Bangla Wikipedia.

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