The one-and-a-half-year Dual Master's programme in Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image invites students to critically engage with current practices of collecting and selecting, preserving and restoring, and making accessible moving images and sound.
Ephemeral cultural heritage
Moving images and sound are part of our most cherished cultural heritage. They capture time and place and give shape to memory and history. They are also fleeting: they unfold in time and are affected by time. Environmental factors, material decomposition, and increasingly also technological obsolescence threaten the carriers on which they are held, and therefore, endanger their accessibility.
In the Professional Master's programme in Heritage Studies: Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image, we consider how we can deal with such threats. How can we preserve audio-visual materials for future generations? How can we present them, whether as a source of information, entertainment, or aesthetic enjoyment, and whether to broad audiences or specialist ones?
In recent decades, the use of digital technologies has profoundly transformed the ways in which moving images and sound are produced and consumed. Such developments also affect our audio-visual heritage and the ways in which we preserve them and make them accessible. Inevitably, then, digital standards, tools and workflows figure prominently in the discussions we have in class and during field trips.
Studying Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image at the University of Amsterdam
The Netherlands, and the city of Amsterdam in particular, provides an ideal location for the study of audio-visual preservation and presentation as key to the work of media archives, film and contemporary art museums, festivals, distribution agencies, broadcasting companies and film studios. The Master's programme collaborates with a range of national and regional institutions; among others, the EYE Filmmuseum (the Netherlands’ national centre for film culture), the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (the national broadcast archive), LIMA: the Living Media Art Foundation and V2_Institute for the Unstable Media (both media art institutions) and the International Film Festival Rotterdam (the country’s foremost film festival and meeting point for national and international producers and distributors). These organisations not only host tours and supervise interns, but also participate in the programme’s core courses and contribute to the development of an up-to-date curriculum.
During their training at UvA, students in the Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image programme consider different types of moving images and sound, focusing alternately on cinema, broadcasting, and media art objects (all of those in analogue and digital manifestations). In the first year of the programme, students spend acquiring critical knowledge; in the second, they put it into practice during an extensive internship.
Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image is an accredited degree programme of the Master in Heritage Studies. Upon successful completion of the programme, graduates receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Heritage Studies, and the title of Master of Arts (MA).
Given the ever-expanding market in image-based culture, education and entertainment, and the challenges posed by digitisation, the MA programme creates excellent career opportunities for students looking to be employed in the field of AV archiving and presentation. The programme is well-known in the field, and unique in Europe due to its twofold preservation/presentation focus, its broad outlook (the fact that it addresses issues relevant to film, television and media art archivists and programmers) and its combination of academic study and practice-based learning. Its close cooperation with archival and presentation partners entails that participants are given direct access to those working in the field, and the opportunity to develop a professional network while studying in Amsterdam.
Programme alumni are employed as curators, preservationists and programmers in film and television archives, museums and at festivals around the world. In some cases, job opportunities emerged as a direct outcome of a (curricular) internship project.
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