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The conference will be divided in four sessions, each of them tackling different issues and challenges that are relevant for students and emerging conservators.

Session 1 “Surface tension: starting a career”

As conservators in training enter the field, they become aware of the dynamics and established practices present within the profession. However, it is important to remember that sectors are shaped by all participating members, including the newest ones. Among emerging conservators there is a growing interest in reshaping the field of conservation in fundamental ways. This includes pushing for more diversity and sustainability initiatives, addressing problems such as accessibility (how programs and internships are designed for people that have resources and can sustain themselves over long periods of time), and how to secure funding through fundraising to begin or maintain projects.
The focus of the first session is on an assortment of issues that many conservators will face when starting a career. Sustainability, accessibility, and diversity are some of the challenges that we will discuss. Furthermore, we will debate with the speakers how they have changed the field and how each of us can shift it as individuals.

Session 2 “Uncharted waters: ethics in difficult times”

While studying, conservators are trained to follow high standards, but once we go out into the world, we can find ourselves in difficult times. How do we approach conservation while we are surrounded by difficulties? How can we make the most out of the resources that we have and how and to whom can we call for help? How do we apply ethics to practise?
In this session, we will explore ethical questions, raising the subject of how we can reconcile idealistic scenarios and the reality of the working world. As well, a look at conservation during conflicts will be examined.

Session 3 “One droplet after another, building community”

Conservation is a small field that has historically borrowed from other sectors. Furthermore, in day-to-day practice, conservators work with other professions, in some cases closely related and in others with a further distance. How do we make connections and build community with the public, other institutions, colleagues and other fields that are connected with conservation?
During the third session of the conference the emphasis will be on collaboration between conservators and other fields and how to make the most out of it.

Session 4 "Still waters run deep: Conservation and communication"

Historically, conservation has been a back of house job, quietly hiding behind closed doors. But with time, conservation has made itself more visible, both in terms of treatments (making obvious what is an addition or original) and taking a more observable role in institutions. Conservators often work alone, but how can we make the field accessible to the public? How much are we expected to share and how can we do it? What challenges do we find in our way?
For the final session of the conference, we will deep dive into how conservation can become visible to the public and what challenges come with it.

Rough programme

Please note that this program can be subjected to changes and additions.
Thursday 16 November
Morning: registration and visits to studios from different institutions.
Afternoon: Opening speeches and Session 1 “Surface tension: starting a career.”
Friday 17 November
Morning: Session 2 “Uncharted waters: ethics in difficult times”
Afternoon: Session 3 “One droplet after another, building community”
Saturday 18 November
Morning: visits to studios.
Afternoon: Session 4 “Still waters run deep: Conservation and communication.” And closing remarks.

Venue location

The conference will be held at the following location:

Doelenzaal Amsterdam, room C0.07
Inside the Singel library 
Singel 425
1012 WP Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 525 1405