An international photography competition taking place next month aims, among other things, to
capture and make available for free download hundreds images of modern and
ancient heritage sites in Israel.
The event in Israel, which will span
one month and include a wide variety of free events at local heritage sites as
well as technical workshops in photography, is part of the global “Wiki Loves
Monuments” photography competition that was launched last year and will take
place in an additional 32 countries worldwide.
Last year’s event, which
consisted of only 18 countries, yielded around 167,000 photos of cultural sites
across Europe and this year’s expanded version, including Israel for the first
time, hopes to supersede that and possibly even break a Guinness World Record
for the largest photography competition.
“It’s very important that there
are free photos on the Internet for people to download and use,” commented Deror
Lin, project manager for the "Wiki Loves Monument” Competition Israel.
Israel, the contest is being managed by a team of volunteers for the non-profit
online encyclopedia, Wikimedia Israel
, in cooperation with the Society for
Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites
and with sponsorship of the Israel
, ISOC, Google Israel, the Galitz School of Photography
Lin explained that another underlying aim of the
competition, at least locally, is to teach the Israeli public how easy it is to
upload photographs. All images submitted for the competition will be posted on
to the Wikimedia Commons Israel heritage site, an Internet photo archive that
hopes to provides free information and images to the public on more than 600
physical sites in Israel.
He said that there are very few photographs of
Israeli heritage sites currently available online and most feature the country’s
more ancient historical landmarks.
There is little visual documentation
of buildings and places relating to more modern Zionist history and the creation
of the State of Israel.
Asked whether building up an online archive of
Israeli heritage sites could become a political statement or cause friction with
the Palestinian population in certain areas such as East Jerusalem or the Old
City, Lin responded that the goal of the competition was to purely draw
attention to local heritage and provide free images for online use.
main goal is that we find photos of these places and put them online so that
anyone can use them,” said Lin.
He highlighted that included among the
600 buildings now listed on the Wikimedia Commons Israel site for use in the
competition are numerous Ottoman-built structures, many religious buildings such
as churches and mosques and as well as listed buildings in Arab neighborhoods of
Jerusalem and Jaffa.
The competition runs September 14 through October
14. Any photographs submitted will be freely licensed as Creative Commons,
allowing the public to use the pictures free of charge as long as the
photographer is credited.
A special team of professional Israeli
photographers will then judge all the images and chose 10 to be put forward for
the global part of the competition.
The best local photos will also win
cash prizes of up to NIS 5,000.