Behind the Screen in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)

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Behind the Screen CEE is part of a wider series that celebrates tireless Wikimedians who make free knowledge possible. It brings to the ‘screen’ stories from CEE with the simple aim of sharing, honoring, and celebrating impact. The series also aims to take forward the movement strategy goal of Knowledge Equity.

The CEE region has been known for its longtime local cooperation, lasting for more than a decade and resulting in the creation of a first-ever regional hub in the Wikimedia movement. A big part of that collaboration is the joint regional work around campaigns. 

As Alex Stinson, Lead Strategist in the Wikimedia Foundation notes,  the CEE region has been an important campaign organizer,  a creator of campaigns that have been models for the rest of the world.  

The most important campaign in the region is CEE Spring, happening annually since 2015.  This writing contest, in which communities from the CEE region for 10 weeks write articles about each other, brought more than 77 000 articles about the countries, languages, and communities of Central and Eastern Europe to Wikipedia. 

Kiril Simeonovski, a member of the CEE Hub Steering Committee and the board of Shared Knowledge, has been for many years engaged in organizing CEE Spring on the international level. One of the things he finds special about the project is that it perfectly captures both the community and the diversity of the region.

The CEE region consists of communities that share many commonalities, like similar pasts and similar traits. But at the same time, each community is unique in some way. And we have many differences that have to be pronounced in order to promote our diversity as a region. CEE Spring is exactly the activity that pinpoints this diversity. 

Another campaign uniting this collaborative region is 1lib1ref. This global effort to invite librarians to add citations to Wikipedia was not born in the CEE region but is especially valued here. Serbian Wikipedia, which is a global leader in this campaign gained through it more than 46,000 references. 

Gorana Gomirac, GLAM manager in Wikimedia Serbia and the coordinator of 1lib1ref in the CEE region notes:

This campaign is dedicated to increase the reliability of Wikimedia projects, but also to show librarians how important their role is in the Wikimedia world and how to use it to make Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects more reliable. 

Claudia Serbanuta, a Wikimedian from Romania and Moldova user group, and a librarian herself adds that All librarians are very comfortable working with references (…) and just spending a little bit of time and put that knowledge into better articles for the whole community to access is basically a description of a librarian’s job.

Watch the whole video to learn more about how the CEE region uses campaigns to exchange knowledge and collaborate better, and get to know the amazing people behind some of this work! 

Subtitles for this video are available in Polish, Russian, Serbian, and Ukrainian

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