Arthyve has something up their sleeve this Sunday, March 10, and are inviting the community to participate in a rather unique event: radical archiving.
At 144 W Colfax Ave, an entire floor of the McNichols Civic Center Building will be home for Denver’s installment of the national Art + Feminism Campaign movement’s Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon. The purpose? To chip away at the vast disparities in representation on subjects related to gender, art, and feminism.
“This is a country-wide campaign to bring awareness to the fact that there are not enough female identifying editors on Wikipedia,” said Sigri Strand, co-founder of the non-profit collective, Arthyve. She explained the gender gap in content contributors has in turn led to a gender gap in representation on Wikipedia itself.
“Arthyve, in general, wants to give overrepresentation to the people who have been underrepresented,” she said.
Arthyve’s mission is to transcend and challenge mainstream art representation and to celebrate, preserve, and document the creative communities and practices throughout our city and state. So, what exactly does that mean, and how is it accomplished? By building an archive that is filled with information about the community, directly from the community.
“Historically, archivists collect information and build an archive which is representative of what they deem valuable,” said Hannah Miller, a member of the board of directors. Miller is a librarian and an archivist, and said that Arthyve’s approach to archiving is uniquely radical, as it challenges the long history of biased and gender-discriminant information collecting.
“History is reflective of the popular, dominant culture,” said Miller. “There isn’t representation in many aspects, and that is no different for libraries and history; it is told by and for those in power.”
The Arthyve women say it’s time to take that power back.
This is why the Art + Feminism Campaign is something that Arthyve has taken on as one of their most important events of the year. In fact, Sunday will be the third time that they have called on the community to take to the keyboard to create new Wikipedia pages, as well as buff-up existing ones, with accurate and detailed information on women and the arts.
Partnering in the event will be the Denver Public Library, who will provide resource materials, as well as CU Boulder’s Art and Architecture librarian, Alex Watkins, who will be doing on-the-fly Wikipedia editing tutorials. Arthyve invites attendees to bring ideas of who or what they would like to add or edit online, as well as books and source materials to pull reliable information from. Additionally, people are encouraged to come with laptops and power chords; however, some extras will be provided on site.
For those who may be editing-averse, there is a full agenda of break-out sessions on issues and topics that are designed to be communal conversation-starters as well as informational, like Why People Are So Scared of Transgender Folks? and The Very Under-Represented History of Women in Computer Science. There will also be an interactive art installation by Secret Love Collective as well as entertainment by local Denver poets and a performance from hip hop artist Kitty Crimes.
Inclusivity, diversity, and variety are the pillars on which this event stands, as people of all gender identities and expressions are encouraged to participate, and the range in programming offers many options to join in on. Kids are also welcomed, and there will be activities designed specifically to keep them engaged and entertained.
“We are here to tell everyone that you deserve a voice and can be added to the historic record,” said Strand. It’s not just a day of editing to Arthyve; it’s about the greater need to provide representation, a way of voices to be heard and history to be representative of the community members that thrive within it.
“We’re hopeful that this act of submitting Wikipedia pages really mirrors the thought process behind our core mission,” said Miller. “We’re hoping that local creatives will be inspired to become a member of Arthyve and inspired to contribute their own stories to our archives.”