Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM), the world’s largest online photography competition, will hold an online photography competition in September to promote Pakistan’s cultural heritage.
The competition Wiki Loves Monuments Pakistan is being organised by Wikimedia Community User Group Pakistan, the official affiliate of Wikimedia Foundation that runs and owns Wikipedia and sponsors Wiki Loves Monuments events.
“Anyone can participate in the competition… be an amateur or a professional photographer,” Saqib Qayyum, project leader of Wiki Loves Monuments Pakistan told The Express Tribune.
“It is an online competition. Those who are not in Pakistan can participate too by registering an account on Wikipedia for free. The pictures should highlight Pakistani cultural heritage sites.”
The participants can start uploading photographs from August 31 (today) after 12pm. The competition will remain open for submissions until September 30. The results will be announced in October.
“People in Pakistan may think that Wiki Loves Monuments is just a photography competition. The fact is there’s more to it that makes the event special and unique,” Qayyum said.
He said the competition was aimed at gathering photographs released under a free licence – a licence that enables the free re-use of photographs.
“Photographs you find on the internet often have copyright. They cannot be re-used without permission of the photographer. Our goal is to make knowledge available to everyone.”
The competition will have two rounds of awards – Pakistani awards and international awards.
For Pakistani awards, the first prize will be Rs20,000, second prize Rs15,000, third prize Rs10,000 and the fourth and fifth position holders will get Rs5,000 each.
The Pakistani jury will nominate 10 winning photos for the international contest, which has its own jury and awards.
The first prize will be a travel scholarship (with a maximum value of $3,000) to attend the Wikipedia conference in Mexico City in 2015.
“Wikipedia is the seventh most visited website in Pakistan. We are expecting thousands of contestants,” said Qayyum.
“Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM) is taking place every September since 2010. This is the first time Pakistan will be participating in the competition,” said a statement on WLM website.
The first Wiki Loves Monuments competition was held in 2010 in the Netherlands. The next year it spread to other countries in Europe and according to the Guinness Book of Records, the 2011 edition of the Wiki Loves Monuments broke the world record for the largest photography competition. In 2012, the competition was extended beyond Europe, with a total of 35 participating countries and 350,000 uploaded photographs of historic monuments. By 2013 Wiki Loves Monuments had spread to over 50 countries across six continents including Antarctica. Wiki Loves Monuments photo contest is organised in a federative manner, with participating countries organising national competitions. By entering in this year’s competition, Pakistan will become the third South Asian country (after India and Nepal) to take part.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2014.