Unpacking Body Plurality in Sports: A #VisibleWikiWomen Art & Photo Contest

What’s it about?

The #VisibleWikiWomen campaign is inviting submissions of photos, illustrations, and other forms of art depicting womxn and non-binary people in sports as athletes, fans, cheerleaders, referees, journalists, and all other variations of participation in sports, to our contest in a collective effort to visibilize black, brown, trans, queer, indigenous, and disabled womxn and non-binary people on Wikimedia Commons and the broader internet.

Why body plurality in sports?

Our theme of the #VisibleWikiWomen campaign this year on #BodyPlurality #CuerposPlurales #CorposPlurais #Imizimba: Celebrating the uniqueness of our body sizes, shapes, and identities online”, was inspired in part by the stories and experiences of women in athletic sports like Santhi Soundarajan and Caster Semenya, who recently won her anti-discrimination case against the World Athletics Regulations that for years policed her body to force conformity to arbitrary and colonial and standards of femininity.

And of course, the FIFA Women’s World Cup is a great excuse to explore the sporty side of the #VisibleWikiWomxn. 

When womxn participate in sports in any shape or form they are scrutinized, from their bodies to their sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, their clothes, and many other non-sports-related and personal aspects of their lives in ways that men in sports are not. Using FIFA Women’s world cup and the Olympics as a proxy, it is clear that for womxn and queer folks, the body plurality is to be suspected, subjected to violent tests, and “tamed”.

Collage of VisibleWikiWomen 2023. Image by YoulendreeAppasamy, derivative from Santhi Soundarajan image, Caster Semenya image, Sylvia Tamale image, and drawing of Sara Baartman, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

All these gender binaries and constructs on sex, sexuality, gender identity, and expression are colonial-patriarchal ideas of who can and cannot be a part of public spaces like sports arenas. Athletes who fall outside of these normalized colonial frames are on the receiving end of layers of violence and backlash which disproportionately affects black, brown, trans, intersex, disabled, and queer women of colors and those at the intersections of these marginalizations. 

Our #VisibleWikiWomen contest celebrates the bodies of womxn in sports by centering their voices, images, stories, and experiences in sports in all their diversity, plurality, and glory. We also remain conscious that to be visible for many womxn and queer folks, or those that may be perceived outside the gendered colonial binaries can be resistance but also that remaining invisible or anonymous is survival for most people, and that everyone has a right to privacy.

How to participate?

We invite submissions to our #VisibleWikiWomxn contest under the theme Unpacking Body Plurality in Sports: A #VisibleWikiWomen Art & Photo Contest in three categories: 

  • Images taken with the consent of women and non-binary people participating in any sports in any form (from athletes to fans). 
  • Historical images from memory and cultural institutions and community and personal archives of womxn in sports (be sure that you comply with copyright rules of Wikimedia Commons).
  • Illustrations of images, stories, imaginations, and interpretations of our theme, Unpacking Body Plurality in Sports.


Submissions are open from September 25th to November 7th, 2023 end of day, everywhere in the world.


  • Up to 10 submissions per participant.
  • Consent: portraits of an identifiable person in a private place or situation, should be published with consent. Our consent form is available here to guide you
  • Copyright of original creators (photographers and illustrations): when you upload your own work to Wikimedia Commons, you agree to share the work under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
  • Copyright of historical archives: you should be sure that you are the copyright holder of the work, or that the work is in the public domain.

Winners and prizes

5 submissions (without particular hierarchy) will be awarded with a $100 gift card + personalized goodies (surprise!) per category as follows.

  • 3 photos
  • 1 artwork
  • 1 historical image

Need help?

If you have questions about consent, copyright, how to upload images to Wikimedia Commons, and more, please email us to visiblewikiwomen[at]whoseknowledge.org.

We have a resources series that might help, in this is a useful selection for this contest: