Pakistan’s Part Goes to Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM)
Wiki Loves Monuments has become the largest online photography contest in the world, one of the most thriving, free cultural events at global level. Professional, amateur and even non- photographers can submit as many photographs of their historical monuments & sites as they like.
How it Began?
It is sponsored by the Wikimedia Foundation (a non-profit organization based in the USA which was founded in 2003; it runs Wikipedia one of the top ten most visited websites in the world and many others projects) and organized by Wikipedia Community members.
- The first competition took place in 2010 just in Netherlands.
- After which it began to spread, as in 2011 some other European countries joined in.
- In 2012, a total of 35 countries participated and 350,000 photographs were uploaded.
- While in 2013, more than 50 countries took part across six continents including Antarctica.
- In 2014, 41 countries competed and for the first time Pakistan took part in WLM, becoming the third South Asian country after India and Nepal.
In 2010 the winner was Netherlands. In 2011 it was Romania. In 2012 it was India. In 2013, it was Switzerland and in 2014 it was Ukraine.
The Purpose Behind Wiki Loves Monuments
The purpose of organizing such a competition is to promote and preserve cultural heritage by making available; photographs of historical buildings and sites under a free license to anyone who wants to use them as well as a means of documenting them, so that they would be always accessible.
As a result of this competition, a million photographs have been uploaded till now.
Wiki Love Monuments: Behind the Scenes
To participate, all you need to do is register on Wikimedia Commons (This is an online Media Repository of images, and different types of media files. Initiated in 2004, it now has 24 million files). Then choose from your country’s list of buildings & sites available on Wikipedia, as only those can be used in the competition. Once selected, you are to photograph, and then simply upload that picture(s). The competition has two levels; first it is held at a National level. Then each country sends its ten best photographs for the International Level. It is open throughout the month of September.
International Prize 2014
The winner gets the opportunity to take part in the annual meeting of Wikimedians from across the globe called “Wikimania” which would be held in Mexico City in June 2015. Its value is $3000, as all travel expenses and accommodation are paid for.
Pakistan Takes Part in Wiki Love Monuments
Three people made it possible for Pakistan to take part in WLM:
Saqib Qayyum was the chief coordinator of WLM Pakistan. He is an official representative of Wikimedia affiliate in Pakistan and a volunteer editor of Wikivoyage Pakistan (a travel guide).
Samar Min Allah
Samar Min Allah is also an official representative of Wikimedia affiliate in Pakistan and a volunteer editor at Wikipedia since 2008.
Rabia Zafar writes articles on various subjects related to Pakistan and is also a volunteer editor at Wikipedia since 2007
They hoped to fulfill the following objectives:
- To preserve our distinctive cultural heritage for the generations to come.
- To get Pakistanis interested in their rich history.
- To encourage Pakistanis to become part of Wikipedia and its associated projects.
- To create awareness about open knowledge and free culture movement and to highlight what advantages we can gain from it.
Pakistan’s Participation at International Level in Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM)
Although Pakistan was not able to secure any position internationally; however we indeed made our presence felt! We ranked number 8 in terms of uploads with more than 12000 photographs, and ranked number 3 in terms of contributors which were over 700.
Our jury consisted of professional Pakistani photographers & amateur photographers from countries such as Australia, Belgium, Germany, Russia & USA, who are members of the Wikipedia Community.
All photographs were judged with respect to the following aspects:
- Level of innovation
- Technical finesse
- The usefulness of the picture for the Wikipedia repository
And The Winners Are…
The judges were enamored with some stunning photography. Following are our top 10 winners:
- ‘Tomb of Jahangir’ photographed by Sohaib Tahir
- ‘Interior of Shah Jahan Mosque’ photographed by Ovais Waraich
- ‘Dome of Dai Anga Tomb’ photographed by Muhammad Ashar
- ‘Tomb of Bibi Jawindi’ photographed by Shah Zaman Balouch
- ‘Pakistan Monument’ photographed by Abdul Baqi
- ‘Faisal Mosque’ photographed by Faisal Mujtaba
- ‘Lahore Fort’ photographed by Rohaan Bhatti
- ‘Wazir Khan Mosque’ photographed by Shagufta Karim
- ‘Noor Mahal’ photographed by Muhammad Ashar
- ‘Derawar Fort’ photographed by Ali Mir
So with a country as picturesque as ours and abundance of talented people, we should really make an effort to make it to the international top ten this time. And since September isn’t that far away, everyone should take out their cameras and start clicking!