[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Invitation to Chapters and Photographers for the European Parliament Project 2014

Olaf Kosinsky olaf.kosinsky at gmail.com
Sun Dec 22 23:03:19 UTC 2013

Dear Chapters,

this is a mail focused on chapters within the European Union but of course
support and participation of any chapter is welcome!

== Preamble ==
Some might have heard about the State Parliament Projects done in Germany
and Austria since 2009:
A bunch of Wikipedians and photographers meet politicians in the
parliament, shoot professional photos, discuss their Wikipedia articles
etc. This way hundreds of free licensed, high quality images have been
made, Wikipedia articles have been improved. In the latest project at
Schwerin (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) we added videos, politicians give a short
introduction about themselves, their position and political focus in German
and in their mother tongue if different from German.
About 20 photographers were able to participate and processes how to work
with the parliament's administration, how to interact with the politicians,
how to efficiently take a lot of photos in a short time and with good
quality have been established.

== Next Level: European Parliament ==
Now we would like to take this to next level: After contacting the European
Parliament I was able to get their approval, the support by the parties and
a date!
Unfortunately the date is already in February, 3rd to 7th, as we have to
use the short time gap between budget deliberations and elections. MEPs
only travel to the EP when deliberations are ongoing but then they are also
busy with meetings, as soon as the election preperation starts there won't
be any time for our project within the next 6 months.
Anyway I am sure we can do that - the elections are also a great
opportunity to raise awareness on our material we have in Wikipedia and on
Commons. It is also an excellent opportunity to bring together volunteers
in doing our core work together, maybe we can transfer the idea of
Parliament Projects to other countries. Volunteers get the opportunity to
learn from each other - the EP is a very challenging project, having more
than 700 MEPs to be handled within a few days. And Wikipedia may improve
its articles, also by bringing together volunteers from different EU
countries. Many MEPs have their articles only in a few of the European
languages, some not even in their native language!

== Your Chapter Involved ==
We are looking forward to get volunteers from as many countries as possible
involved in this project. In order to be handle it we need approx. 35
people to help. Obviously the german and austrian photographers are already
waiting for it, from past projects they already know what will go on. But
there is much more to it: We want your volunteers!
Imagine a project where we could bring together volunteers from all 24
language communities in the EU - that is what we are trying!

Therefore we ask you for a favour:
* please forward this invitation to your local community - you can point
them to our project page on Wikimedia Commons:

* does your chapter provide travel support for those volunteers in your
country who want to participate? Please do so. Your chapter pays for the
transportation to / from Strasbourg and the accommodation (around 300 EUR
per person for all 6 nights), we take care of the rest (transportation
hotel - EP, catering etc.)

* does your chapter have photographic equipment we might need? We could use
DSLRs, flash units, background systems, lenses...

* we would like to supply the volunteers with t-shirts or hoodies with
Wikipedia logo or similar - for a unified appearance and to make them
visible as volunteers and Wikimedians. Is your chapter (or the WMF?)
interested in providing 90 shirts / hoodies? (We planned 2 pc. per person
as they will be worn almost one week.)

* everyone who likes this project: state your support on the talk page of
our grant request to the WMF which should cover the general costs of the
project. By this grant request we make sure that each chapter only has to
handle local support and can stay within it's budgeted limits and area of

Thanks for your attention and your support! We are confident that even with
the short time given we will be able to run an awesome project which will
have an impact in so many areas - Wikipedia, Commons, our volunteers,
chapter collaboration, outreach, reader experience...


Olaf Kosinsky

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