We, the Jurors of Wiki Loves Monuments 2021, have recently completed the jury process. The international team is in the process of finalizing the communications, and we as the 2021 jury feel it pertinent to point out a few elements, for clarity and transparency.
Wiki Loves Monuments is an international photographic competition, born and developed inside the Wikimedia Community, to promote historic and cultural sites around the world, it has seen participation from more than 50 countries over the years. The competition has for over a decade worked towards creating a unique visual record of places that hold cultural heritage value and we hope that these records can be used to help keep their stories alive, or repair any damage caused, in the years ahead.
Our final selections include pictures of monuments located in countries currently at war with other countries. In all the involved countries the Wikimedia Movement is present with Wikimedians and cultural activities in the aim of making human knowledge available to every person in the world. Cultural places, and as an extension monuments, belong to each and every single human being on this planet. Every country, regardless of where the monuments are located, is responsible for preserving them; they are not just “the countries’ monuments”, they are milestones of the whole human journey. We are all merely the current custodians of these cultural sites and must work to ensure that they are passed down to the next generations.
The awarded 2021 pictures were selected before the events of 24th February. We do confirm our choices now, with a war raging and destroying both people and heritage. We have Wikimedians in each of the involved countries; and we love them all. We are worried for their safety and wish them all the peace that an honest mind can imagine. We are waiting for them to start working together again as soon as possible, in peace. We love them all. We can only ask that peace and prosperity returns to peoples lives.
This being said, we find ourselves unable to present our results as we usually do. There is no joy, this year, in celebrating the results of the annual WLM competition. Our hearts are bleeding and our emotions are tinged with sadness. But our commitment to record and share cultures remains stronger and brighter than all that.