People Are Knowledge

The Wikimedia foundation recently recognized that the Global South (India, Africa, South America, and so on) was under-represented on the internet and on Wikipedia, and that much of future growth will come from these areas.

Achal R. Prabhala,  in partnership with the Wikimedia foundation, made the video above illuminating one of the cultural gaps between the Global North and the Global South; i.e., the reverence for written citations, rather than oral citations. For cultures with an oral emphasis, it is the stories, conversations, and living processes that carry the knowledge of the community, rather than books, periodicals, etc.

We can scramble to get these banks of knowledge into writing, sure; and/or we can bridge the cultural gap by meeting them where they’re at – by recording in video and audio the living tradition and memory of what the culture and its members carry.

I find this thrilling; as you watch the video, just imagine using Language Hunting to document each language in an oral citation via a chain of conversations (as we’ve begun with Irish), so that the citation becomes accessible to any ear, no matter what its mother tongue.

I’m so inspired by this, and will be looking for ways to support the Wikimedia Foundation’s efforts to connect the vitality and expertise of the Global South with the Global North.

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