5th edition of world’s largest photography competition launched in Malta

By Olga Prystai - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Wiki Loves Monuments, the Guinness World Record holder for the largest photography competition, is taking place again in Malta this year.

The competition brings together photographers from around the world to take stunning pictures of cultural heritage to be shared on Wikipedia.

Participation is free and open to all. The deadline for all submissions is on the 30th of September but submissions can be made throughout the month of September. Participants need to own the photos they submit and release them under a Creative Commons open licence.

Photo uploading workshops will be held in mid-September 2020, in accordance with health authority guidelines, in collaboration with the Valletta Design Cluster within the Valletta Cultural Agency. More details are found on the website and via Facebook and Instagram closer to the date.

A jury composed of experts within the fields of cultural heritage, photography and Wikipedia will be selecting the winning entries. Ten winning submissions will be nominated for the international Wiki Loves Monuments contest, with the opportunity to win further prizes.

Louise Muscat

Prizes for the 2020 edition of Wiki Loves Monuments in Malta are partly funded through a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation: The first prize is €400 worth of photographic equipment and/or services from PhotoCity of South Street, Valletta, the second prize is €300 worth of books published by Kite Group and Merlin Publishers and the third prize is €200 in cinema ticket vouchers from Spazju Kreattiv for their 20/21 screenings. The fourth to tenth prize is a goody bag each containing custom-made Wiki Loves Monuments mementos worth €50 from The Tink Shop.

The winners will be announced in November 2020. All submitted photos will also be exhibited permanently online and at the Valletta Design Cluster throughout November and December. They will also be displayed at Spazju Kreattiv and the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta.

By Tudoi61 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Speaking at the competition launch online, Wikimedia Community Malta President Tony Micallef explained that this year’s competition will be taking place in over 40 countries across the world in rather unusual circumstance. Since the competition started in 2010, over 2 million photos have been submitted, with last year’s competition attracting over 250,000 submissions across 40 countries. This is the fifth time that Malta will be participating.

Caldon Mercieca, the Valletta Design Cluster manager, added: “We are very pleased and proud to host Malta’s first Wikipedian in Residence from this September. We see cultural heritage as something that should not be taken for granted. Monuments need to be celebrated and enjoyed in all sorts of ways. The Valletta Design Cluster itself is housed within a monument and thus we live with this reality every day. We are very much looking forward to exploring ways share open knowledge with Wikimedia Community Malta and discover ways to ensure that design thinking enables further engagement with monuments and other cultural heritage sites that contain specific design features.”

Spazju Kreattiv Artistic Director Daniel Azzopardi stated: “Spazju Kreattiv remains committed to supporting Wiki Community Malta in their endeavour to champion cultural heritage through digital platforms. Being the National Centre for Creativity, we do believe that such ventures within the creative domain are important to promote new encounters and exchanges in different community groups. Through such collaboration, we look to further emphasise the importance of appreciating cultural heritage and its legacy which is represented in the continued development of contemporary and innovative practices.”

Furthermore, Russell Muscat, Manager Digitisation Unit within Heritage Malta, said: “Heritage Malta has been giving its support to this initiative since its inception. The Agency believes that our national monuments should be exposed more through digital media. In this respect, Heritage Malta through the Digitization Unit, is gearing towards making museums and sites more accessible through various projects and initiatives. This requires not simply investing in equipment but also changing current procedures and the way Heritage Malta museums, sites and workers operate in this field adopting digital technologies,”