OCTOBER 11, 2020
The theme for 2020 Open Access Week is – Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion. When you examine knowledge sharing through the lense of Equity and Inclusion, you ask who is being left behind or cast aside and unable to access knowledge and information that will improve their lives. For multilingual societies such as African communities, equity and inclusion as integral strands of Openness have deep meanings and off the grid perspectives. How? Making research or knowledge open for all to access in a second language that does not capture the meanings and nuances of one’s mother tongue precludes equity and inclusion. Expanding and stretching Openness to include the possibilities of integrating local languages in providing access to knowledge should be one of the pathways for action towards building structural equity and inclusion in knowledge dissemination.
AfLIA is taking action in opening up knowledge and information by celebrating the 2020 Open Access Week in a unique manner. Africa expresses itself clearly through art and culture. This is reflected most often in film/cinema. Articles written about this art form are mostly done in languages other than the different local languages of the settings of the films.
AfLIA will lead African librarians to translate articles about film/cinema on Wikipedia into local African languages with the sole objective of increasing access to such articles by making them available in mother tongues using the translation software on the platform. This is auspicious for African librarians as the Open Access Week falls within the period of Afrocine, a WikiProject which promotes historical and contemporary film/cinema and theatre of African countries, the Caribbean and the diaspora.
The Open Access Week also connects with the Wikipedia in Africa Libraries Project which seeks to lead African Librarians into how to play crucial roles in liberating knowledge about Africa, past and present. The expectation is that the unique celebration of the 2020 Open Access Week in Africa will unlock new vistas of librarianship and information provision for librarians in the continent.
AfLIA will kickstart the Open Access Week with a free webinar – Opening up Knowledge: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion on 19th October 2020. The webinar is meant to explain the theme of the Week as well as teach librarians how to use the Translation software on Wikipedia. Join librarians and open knowledge advocates by signing up for the webinar here.
We’d like to know which African language(s) you will be translating into during the Open Access Week Translation contest, so that we can track and score your contributions.