Wikimedia Australia are pleased to announced Bianca Valentino as our First Nations Wikipedian in Residence, as part of The Record: Australian Music On Wikipedia, a partnership between Wikimedia Australia and Australia Council for the Arts to increase the number of Wikipedia articles about Australian music.
Bianca is a writer, editor, publisher, artist, and musician based in Meanjin/Brisbane. Her work has appeared in Rave, Rolling Stone, and The Big Issue, and she publishes Gimmie zine, which gives special focus to the Australian underground music scene.
Wikimedia Australia have partnered with State Library of Queensland to host this residency program, and Bianca has been given access to their resources to add to and improve the representation of First Nations music and musicians on Wikipedia.
To document her journey, Bianca has created Blak Beat, an Instagram account where she will share updates on her work as First Nations Wikipedian in Residence. Below is a special message from Bianca introducing herself and the work she is doing, as shared on Blak Beat.
Introducing Bianca Valentino, First Nations Wikipedian In Residence
My name is Bianca. I’m a Blak storyteller, editor, researcher, creative & dreamer living on Yugambeh Country, working on Turrbal & Yuggera Country. I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians & Elders of all Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander nations.
I’m the First Nations Wikipedian in Residence at the State Library of QLD in Meeanjin for Wikimedia Australia – I’m working to improve on, & add, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander music coverage to Wikipedia! I’m excited to yarn about this with you. Thanks for being here for Blak culture & creativity.
There are truths to be told as over the years, many of our artists & songs have been lost & hidden from popular culture – I’m dedicated to uncovering them. I’ll be sharing new artists too. We’ve ALWAYS been making great music! I want us to be seen & boost respect & appreciation for mob.
Storytelling & sharing is imperative for healing. It’s how we pass on knowledge to the next generation, carries our ancestors’ words across time, and aids non-Indigenous people in understanding us better. It is essential for us to reclaim spaces so our communities can come together, express ourselves in our own Sovereign goodway & celebrate through Blak joy.
Our expression is not a product—it is sacred. We’re often at odds with the music industry, an industry that wasn’t built by us or for us. I’m tired of the misrepresentation, silencing narratives, & way mainstream media distorts our narrative. I’m here for all the good stuff – truth, decolonisation, cultural resurgence, ancestral connection, community & sharing deadly music!
Blak Beat centres us in the conversation & is made with big love – mob in heart & everyone in mind. We’re still here. Always was.
Originally posted by James Gaunt and Bianca Valentino to Wikimedia Australia on 26 May 2023. Featured image by Rubii Red.
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