Wikimedia’s South Africa chapter recently launched a drive (and competition) to document and photograph as many monuments and historical sites in South Africa as possible. The goal? To improve the quality and content of historical entries on Wikipedia.

The month-long Wiki Loves Monuments drive is now midway through – it has already generated over 1 200 photographs, totalling almost 8GB.

“In the first two weeks of Wiki Loves Monuments in South Africa, over 1 200 photographs have been submitted, totalling over 4.7 gigabytes of data. In the international competition, over 84 000 photographs have been submitted to date by 3 002 participants from 36 countries. Currently, South Africa is the 11th most active participating country in this international competition,” Wikimedia South Africa said in a statement.

If you feel like you want to contribute to the project and maybe win some prizes in the process, you can head on to http://wikilovesmonuments.co.za/wiki/Main_Page for all the details. But potential monument photographers are reminded that images of recently-built monuments won’t be considered for entry on Wikipedia.

“Unfortunately due to the Copyright Act of 1978 (section 15), we must ask participants not to submit photographs of recently built monuments, such as most monuments celebrating the fight against Apartheid. Wikimedia and the Wikipedia editing community take protection of copyright very seriously, and until the act is amended, we will not be able to host such photographs on Wikimedia Commons.”

Wikimedia South Africa added that it is rather unfortunate, and it would like to see the legislation change so that it can include the photographs into Wikipedia.

“We feel that this is deeply unfortunate, and we would like to make use of this opportunity to call for the amendment of the act. With such an amendment photographs of public art can be freely taken and used. In the meantime, participants are welcome to submit photographs of such locations if they have secured permission from the owners of the monument, or if it is a still from video footage.”

[Source – Wikimedia South Africa, Image – Bloemfontein Women’s Memorial by Carl Viloria]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.