Head of Master’s Programme Photography & Society Royal Academy of Art (Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten/KABK)
Three years ago, a team of driven international photographers, artists and teachers from the KABK launched the two-year Master’s course in Photography & Society. The programme encourages students to seek out deep and thoughtful encounters with and in society, as well as representations of that society.
About the KABK
As a source of development and innovation, we train our students to become confident artists and designers whose drive, depth of understanding and experimental approach make a meaningful contribution both to their chosen field and to society.
Research plays a pivotal role in our curriculum and approach to education. Throughout their studies, students are encouraged to actively engage with their environment and challenged to reflect on it through their artwork and design.
We seek to be an active part of society and the professional field, which is why we involve representatives from the world of art and design, as well as the general public, in the academy in a variety of ways. We also build and maintain relationships with partners from outside the cultural sector, as we have found that these types of partnerships help establish vital links between the academy and society. In addition to encouraging students to produce work as part of their training in research and self-expression, we support them in developing their entrepreneurial skills, as being a professional artist today involves more than the practice of art alone.
Having a strong international focus, the KABK prepares its students for international professional careers. With a student body from approximately 70 different countries, all of our students learn to adopt an international and intercultural mentality and approach.
About the Master’s Programme Photography & Society
Three years ago, a team of driven international photographers, artists and teachers from the KABK launched the two-year Master’s course in Photography & Society. The programme is concerned with questions such as: ‘What is the potential of photography?’, ‘How does it impact us?’ and ‘Why does photography matter?’
The programme encourages students to seek out deep and thoughtful encounters with and in society, as well as representations of that society. The central focus of the curriculum is the relationship between images and society and, by implication, the technological, political, environmental and social role of photography. Our programme currently has 25 students and 13 alumni. We are looking for an
Approachable and enthusiastic Head of the Master’s Programme Photography & Society,
who has what it takes to inspire a new generation of photographers. (0,5 fte)
What will you bring to our department?
- You feel closely involved in the KABK community, including students, teachers, and the wider world of the arts. You are aware of current trends and developments. You work as an imagemaker, enjoy collaboration, and engage in dialogue with others. You are a resourceful and unconventional thinker, keep up-to-date with the latest developments, and work closely with a core team of teachers and students on creating a relevant, contemporary and engaged programme based on a firm foundation and the current philosophy behind the Master’s programme.
- Students learn to seamlessly transition from the conceptual to the practical and to present their work through different, often novel, distribution channels. You will play an active role in this process, which includes teaching. You are sensitive to, and keenly aware of, students’ different cultural backgrounds and are skilled at harnessing this diversity in your teaching, allowing you and your students to learn with each other and create genuine innovation. You will also make sure all your students have the freedom to achieve maximum results
- You will be responsible for the content, organization and quality of the education and for facilitating educational innovation, which involves working with the faculty (currently consisting of seven members), students and alumni. You will also liaise with the co-heads of the Bachelor’s programme Photography and with the heads of the other programmes in order to strengthen collaboration within the curriculum. Combining a cool head with a warm personality, you are persistent and clear and involve students and staff in your decisions and their implications, which will ensure they have the guidance, parameters and freedom they need to work on their personal development.
- You have clear ideas about international trends and developments in the photography field and can translate these into a progressive and distinctive curriculum. You constantly seek out opportunities for interdisciplinary cooperation, drawing on your wide network of contacts in the Netherlands and abroad (including NGOs, photographers, opinion makers, etc.)
- You like working with others, both within the programme and beyond, because you are interested in new ideas and believe in the exchange of talent and expertise. You also enjoy creating the right alliances to bring about concrete improvements for students, teachers and the KABK.
We expect you to use your experience, knowledge, ideas on how photography can contribute to the global debate, organizational talent and knack for bringing people together to enrich life within the KABK community. We feel that enthusiasm, curiosity, a relevant local, national and international network and educational skills are equally important as professional experience in a managerial role. Since this is a senior role we do expect you to possess the knowledge and skills corresponding with a master level. Since we have an international focus and ours is an English-language programme, fluency in English is required as well as knowledge of the Dutch language is important. We encourage you to apply if you can read and understand Dutch and are willing to learn to speak the language.
What can you expect from us?
A multifaceted position in a new programme with a solid foundation and philosophy, where you and your team will be working closely with students to develop ideas about the role of photography in the twenty-first century. The KABK is an institution which is in touch with society and focused on the future and where your professional development and innovation will be encouraged. You will be given the freedom to organize your work in such a way that you can continue to work in the field alongside your responsibilities at the Academy. In first instance we offer a fixed-term contract for one year, with the prospect of a permanent contract. The position is classified as pay scale 13 under the Collective Agreement for Higher Professional Education (CAO HBO). Furthermore, we offer a holiday allowance of 8% and a fixed end-of-year bonus of 8.3%; generous holiday leave, part of which is to be taken during school holidays; and good study and development opportunities.
How to apply
Please email your CV and a cover letter, including three references (all in English) by 8 February 2021 to Fenna Hup, Deputy Director of Education: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to learn more about the position first, Lotte Sprengers (email@example.com), Co-Head of the BA in Photography and current Head of the Master’s programme in Photography & Society, and Donald Weber (firstname.lastname@example.org), acting Head of this programme, will be pleased to provide you with further information. For more information about the KABK, visit our website, www.kabk.nl.
The selection process will include a presentation on your vision for how photography can be a catalyst for social change and on how the diversity of our international community of students and teachers can drive innovation.
This job description was created in a joint effort with students, teachers, alumni and various representatives from the professional field.
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