How are East and Southeast Asians (ESEA) in the UK represented on Wikipedia? As part of ESEA Heritage Month 2022 the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London’s is co-organising a Wikipedia Editathon on “East and Southeast Asians in the UK” on 15th September 2022, together with friends and colleagues at City University LondonESEA Hub and the Public Data Lab.

The event arose through an ongoing Public Data Lab project on “East and Southeast Asians: Documenting a Category in the Making”. It is inspired by both editathons as formats for involving marginalized knowledge communities, as well as research on Wikipedia grounded in media studies and science and technology studies (e.g. on controversies, gaps, underrepresentation, politics, and socio-technical dynamics).

The event will review ESEA related pages and explore how people who identify with or are associated with the ESEA term can be involved in shaping Wikipedia pages about their communities, histories and cultures.

Further details can be found below and at the following links:

Wikipedia Editathon on “East and Southeast Asians in the UK”, 15th September 2022

Wikipedia is one of the largest and most popular websites in the world. Its pages make their way into the top of search engine results, the answers of smart devices and are widely linked, shared and translated around the world. However, its content has been shown to be heavily skewed by gender and geography.

How are East and Southeast Asians (ESEA) in the UK represented on Wikipedia? While there are pages for various ESEA groups, a proposal to make an “East and Southeast Asians in the United Kingdom” page was rejected in 2015. Amongst those opposing the page were comments that the ESEA term “is simply not used in Britain”, along with suggestions for the page to be renamed with “British Orientals”, a term which is considered problematic and offensive.

Since the pandemic the term ESEA has been gaining traction. There are now several groups and organisations with ESEA in their name. In 2021 East and Southeast Asian Heritage Month received attention and engagement from media organisations, cultural organisations and public institutions. Has status and societal recognition of the ESEA term changed during the pandemic? Should an ESEA page be created? If so, what should it contain?

Inspired by edit-a-thons organised by and for marginalised groups, this event will explore how people who identify with or are associated with the ESEA term can be involved in shaping Wikipedia pages about their communities, histories and cultures. At the event we will review, discuss and edit Wikipedia pages together. Participants will learn how to set up an account and edit Wikipedia. To close we will reflect on the role of Wikipedia, and the web more generally, in ESEA organising during and after the pandemic.

Co-organised by City University London, ESEA Hub, King’s College London and the Public Data Lab.

Cross-posted from jonathangray.org.

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