Visibility and Resistance on Wikipedia in Fifteen Photos

Representing marginalized communities with my contributions to Wikimedia Commons

Pax Ahimsa Gethen


Banner image with a black-and-white headshot of Pax, text “Media Contributor of the Year — Pax Ahimsa Gethen — User:Funcrunch”, and stylized graphics of a video camera, framed image, leaves, and flowers.

This week, I was honored to be named by the Wikimedia Foundation as the 2023 Media Contributor of the Year. The award ceremony, honoring multiple Wikimedian of the Year winners, took place on the opening night of Wikimania Singapore, which is happening both in-person and online throughout this week.

For my part in the award ceremony, I was asked to assemble a slideshow showcasing some photos that I’ve uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, a huge repository of freely usable media files. I chose photos from my collection that illustrate my mission to improve the representation of marginalized people— Black and trans folks in particular— on Wikipedia and its sister projects.

Here are the stories behind each of the photos. All are Creative Commons licensed, CC BY-SA 4.0. Please credit me, Pax Ahimsa Gethen, as the author if you share any of them, thanks!

1. Blackberri

Blackberri, a Black man with long graying locs and glasses, sings into a microphone while playing acoustic guitar.

Blackberri was a gay Black singer-songwriter, activist, and long-time resident of the San Francisco Bay Area. His music has been archived at the Smithsonian Institute. I saw him perform live on a few occasions, including the December 2016 event in Oakland where I took this photo: Black Queer + Trans Love Uncensored.

Blackberri died in 2021, and is remembered fondly in the community. I added this photo to his biography on Wikipedia.

2. Rally against police violence

Activist Benjamin Bac Sierra speaks at a podium on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. Next to him, another activist wears a shirt reading “Justice for Alex Nieto — Strike Out Police Brutality”. Another holds a banner partially reading “Justice 4 All”, with an image of the police chief crossed out in red.

This photo is from one of several rallies I attended in protest of police brutality, a subject I have blogged about frequently. This March 2016 rally and press conference at San Francisco City Hall protested the police killings of Amilcar Perez Lopez, Alex Nieto, and Mario Woods. The organizers called for the resignation or firing of…



Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Queer agender trans male. Black vegan atheist, pacifist. Pronouns: they/them/their.,