Thursday, March 10, 2011

I stepped royally into it ....

When I blogged about I was happy to inform about the plans for an European photo competition. I am sad that some countries are not able to participate and I expressed my hope that Italian regions will allow us to do our thing in their area.

The Spanish chapter is participating and, for a chapter newly formed this is really amazing. Organising an event like this does take a serious amount of effort.

Responses to my blog post show that not everybody is happy with European chapters taking an initiative.

This is not a Spanish bull but an Hereford

As I understand it, some Catalans feel excluded. They have their own chapter and apparently do not consider themselves part of Spain. While I can appreciate such sentiments to some extend, Catalonia is not the only region that may feel a bit separate. The Basque region is even better known for its independent sentiments.

Wikimedians are meant to work together. With sentiments a bit spirited, they can use their energy and try to outdo each other. What Wikipedia can represent the architecture of the Iberian peninsula best. Promoting the Catalan or Basque monuments will be easier because they speak Spanish as well.

The Spanish chapters and communities will have to work as a federation. From a marketing point of view people go on a holiday to Spain and end up enjoying its varied culture when they are lucky. When they are not, all they see is the beach and the bars. Then again, they do not need Wikipedia to decide where to go and what to do.

My message then and now is the same; enjoy Europe's cultural heritage and take part in the Wiki loves Monuments competition where you can.


Capsot said...

Hi Gerard, I hope you are doing fine. I am glad to see the interest you show in the diverse activities of WLM and to see that you are so optimistic of the implication of Wikimedia Spain; I also hope, even though I doubt it, that they will do a good work (I hope you don't consider Amical's activities to be WM Spain activities, they are clearly separated!). My problem currently is dual, worse than having no participation from Wikimedia Italy, it seems that some people are actively intervening to stop Amical's activity (sorry but we are not a Chapter, the Catalan Chapter has not been accepted yet and I fear it won't be accepted for ages except if we opt for independence..., then by the laws of magic you are accepted!!! Does the Chapcom encourage us to become independent in order to be respected? Well, thanks then!) in l'Algher, are Chapters meant to act like lobbies? The second aspect of the problem is that Amical's activities are deliberately ignored in WLM's new webpage and that the whole thing is presented like a Chapters' event clearly hiding, our erasing, our initiative, which is not fair at all, but well I don't expect much from these frequent reproductions of statal entities and restrictive mentalities, which are contrary to the true spirit of Wikipedia. Diversity is everywhere and when you have a state you can strive better to preserve your culture and language and avoid the erosion process that takes place when you are inside the same state and well you travel the same space even though you go through different states, so where's the difference? Take care my friend for I know your daily fight for languages, whether official or small, endangered or not and thanks for trying to preserve this diversity and bring solutions to the many challenges languages face! Claudi Balaguer/Capsot

Mafoso said...


When Wiki loves Monuments 2011 starts to take form some wikipedians of become interested in it . They asked for the help of Amical Viquipèdia. This help is guaranteed: according to the volunteers interest from Amical we try to help them.

Take a moment and look for the efford we are doing and take it in consideration.

After that if you want we can talk about who wants to work together for the moment I just see Wikimedia Foundation Chapters excluding those who are not, in your own words: "This competition is organised by chapters. When a country has no chapter, there is nobody to organise it."

GerardM said...

Joan Gomà has left a new comment on your post "I stepped royally into it ....":

You did a first step to cope Catalan sensitivity. Sheet is a gift of goods to fertilize the land. Perhaps you could use a more genuine Catalan image like this.

Just do another step further. Ask yourselves what divides people. It is not languages and cultures providing communication means and diversity to share what divides people. It is borders and uniformity imposed by countries what divides people.

Don't be sad. There isn't any reason to allow chapters exclude countries like Andorra from wikilovesmonments because we don't have a chapter there. Don't worry. We will work together. We wont allow chapters divide us because of the nationality of our passport. And we are willing to work as a federation not only with Spanish but with all the chapters and none-chapters over the world.

To do this next step I suggest you to switch to an even more genuine Catalan image

marctaltor said...

Catalan people, basque people, and in fact every lenguage spoken in Spain are welcome to Wikimedia Spain. We have some catalan speakers collaborators and, really, the manager of Wikilove Monuments in Wikimedia Spain is a catalan native speaker.

The nationality of mr. Gomá is spaniard; nobody disriminates him because of it. If Mr. Gomá don't feel himself spaniard or prefer the segregation of catalonia form Spain...well they are in his right. But this is politics, and we, in Wikimedia Spain, are here to promote the free Knowledge, not to discuss about political ideas.

Do they want to take part in the event that organizes the Spanish chapter? The whole world is welcome and to nobody one is going to ask what language he( or she) speaks or in what language he( or she) is going to develop his(or her) work.

Capsot said...

Sorry to bother again and to let this page become some kind of tribune of grudges but it is really puzzling to notice that there are always Spanish replies after Catalan comments or initiatives... Please don't forget there are projects to work on, like Wiki Loves Monuments for instance; I hope we will enjoy the Spaniards' dynamism there some time soon! Take care!

Vicenç Riullop said...

Gerard, I feel fine with your approach: let's work with Italians, and not to ignore them as I understood in your previous post, and let's work as a federation. Thanks for your explanation... and let's forget bullshits.