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Decolonising Wikipedia network

A thriving Decolonising Wikipedia network formed at London College of Communication (LCC) in 2020 and expanded across UAL in 2021.

The network supports UAL students and staff to edit Wikipedia through the lenses of anti-racism and decolonisation. This includes increasing the visibility and credibility of under-represented and marginalised figures and topics connected to art and design subject disciplines.

The group emerged from a Wikipedia editathon that took place at LCC in May-June 2020. The event generated nearly 100 edits of existing Wikipedia articles, including the pages for Chinese dancer and choreographer Yang Liping, and Nigerian sound and installation artist Emeka Ogboh.

Find out who leads the network, get the latest updates and join us if you are a member of staff or a UAL student.

Wide angle view of students sitting at desks on computers amid lots of pot plants
Students using digital facilities at London College of Communication. Photo: Alys Tomlinson

Who's who in the network

The Decolonising Wikipedia network is led by LCC and UAL academic and Wikimedian in Residence, Lucy Panesar. It is co-facilitated by:

Knowledge production systems that are intended to be democratic and inclusive, like Wikipedia, still maintain practices which can exclude and marginalise. The work to decolonise the curriculum is not just about reading lists but involves diversifying knowledge production itself. This allows different knowledge, and ways of knowing, to be visible and valued.

— Lucy Panesar, Progression and Attainment Project Manager at London College of Communication, and Decolonising Wikipedia Network lead

Partnership of the Year 2021

The network encourages anyone at UAL to contribute to Wikipedia at a pace and scale that suits them. This ranges from a small intervention to an existing page in a day to writing a new Wikipedia page over a month.

Wikimedia UK formally named London College of Communication and the network its Partnership of the Year 2021, recognising its distinctive contribution to improving Wikipedia’s coverage of under-represented topics.

2 students working on laptops which are covered in stickers
Students working on their laptops. Photo: Georgina Capdevila Cano

Latest network updates

Network founder Lucy Panesar began a Knowledge Exchange secondment with Wikimedia UK in October 2021. Her work decolonises Wikipedia’s database by looking at how the platform represents the colonial histories of London and what those histories mean for Londoners today. Lucy invites students and local communities to be part of the editing process.

Online workshops, editathons and cafés are run by and for the Decolonising Wikipedia network throughout the academic year. These support the UAL community in knowledge activism and editing Wikipedia through a decolonial lens. They include sessions related to the latest network project, London’s Colonial Her/Histories.

Find out more

Profile shot of young woman sitting at a computer wearing headphones
Photo: Alys Tomlinson

More to explore

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    Visitors reading students' magazine, Show at Oxo Tower. Image: David Poultney.
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    Learn about the experience of international students and students of colour.

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    Sonia Boyce, Devotional Wallpaper and Placards, 2008-2020. Acquired by the Contemporary Art Society for the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) through the Rapid Response Fund, 2020.
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    Learn about Decolonising Arts Institute activities.

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    Image: Andrew Brooks, AHRC Black Artists & Modernism project, Speech Acts exhibition opening, Manchester Art Gallery. Image: Andrew Brooks
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    Explore our recorded events.