A chance to celebrate our heritage

By Time of article published Sep 10, 2013

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AN international photographic competition, Wiki Loves Monuments, will focus on the nation’s heritage this month. For the past two years, the Guinness World Records book has accepted the Wiki Loves Monuments competition as the largest photographic competition in the world.

Members of the public, heritage enthusiasts, and photography fanatics are encouraged to celebrate our living heritage by taking photographs of heritage sites and uploading them to the competition website.

There are more than 3 000 heritage sites across South Africa that form part of the South African Heritage Resource Agency’s (Sahra) official Grade I and II list. The list includes buildings, sites of struggle and memory, graves, monuments and archaeological sites.

A panel of South African photographers will judge the submissions, and the winners will receive significant prizes in the form of vouchers towards photographic equipment (first prize is for R7 500). In addition, the best photographs from the national competition will be submitted for the international Wiki Loves Monuments prize.

There were 1 854 photographs entered into the first competition last year. Wim Filmalter’s photograph taken at McClean Observatory won the first prize, while Kay-africa’s picture of the mosaic walkway at Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth came second and Chris Snelling’s photograph taken at the Swartberg Pass came third.

Entrants must register on Wikimedia Commons via the Wiki Loves Monuments website, link the photo to its Sahra number and release the photographs under the Creative Commons licence (CC-BY-SA) for usage on Wikipedia.

Photographers are also able to nominate sites that are not yet on the list by sending a photo and motivation.

The project is organised by the Wikimedia community which created the free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia. One of the aims of the competition is to collect images and media of the world’s culture and heritage.

A significant proportion of heritage photographs on the Wikimedia sites have been contributed since the competition first launched in the Netherlands in 2010.

The 2012 competition went global with more than 350 000 images submitted by 15 110 people from 35 countries.

l The competition closes on September 30. A shortlist will be released towards the end of October and a prizegiving will be held on Johannesburg in early November. See www.wikilovesmonuments.co.za

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