Understanding Knowledge-Representation Inequities in Terms of Re-de-contextualization
10-30, 22:00–22:25 (UTC), Room 3

Are all knowledges equal(ly representable in Wikidata)? What are the mechanics of (de)colonizing digital knowledge? What even is knowledge, and how and where does it fit on the map? I argue that these are questions of context: the contexts knowledge is extracted from, the contexts it is stored in, the contexts is it (re)presented in—in short, questions of de-contextualization and re-contextualization.

Starting from a notion of epistemic agency (the ability to influence one’s knowing and being-known), Wikidata knowledge (in)justice can arguably be understood as the opportunities and obstacles along those de-/re-contextualization paths that conduct knowledge into and out of Wikidata. To do so, this session will introduce a framework and graphical notation for discussing the processes of knowledge transformation involved in building knowledge bases like Wikidata, and it will become clear that we should ask not only what is represented (“Whose knowledge?”) but also how and by whom that ‘what’ is represented (“Whose way of knowing?”).

slides CC BY–SA 4.0

Link to notes


What will the participants take away from this session?

Potential ways of how to think about Wikidata in its broader, (ideally) pluricultural context(s) and some ideas on how to keep those contexts within view





See also: presentation slides (1.8 MB)

European-educated computer scientist • http://l-koenig.com/ • volunteer at Wikimedia NYC