Monday, October 26, 2020
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm Eastern Time
Over the next six months, the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) will be hosting a series of webinars and a workshop on Social Justice and Conservation. Conservation ethics is a topic of perennial interest and central importance to conservators. In the last few months there has been special attention on ethics within our profession as we grapple with the reality of racial inequity in conservation and in wider society. This series provides participants with opportunities to learn from diverse speakers on critical issues that explore the intersection between conservation and social justice.
Join us for “Contested Monuments,” the first free webinar in the series. The controversy surrounding Confederate statues and other contested monuments that celebrate slave owners, imperialism, and white settler colonialism have been highlighted in recent months. Although activists have advocated for the removal of these monuments for years, the racial unrest this summer has brought these issues to the forefront of the cultural heritage sector and greater society as community activists empower themselves to take down such monuments all over the world. This has caused conflicted feelings in some conservators who want to support racial justice in public spaces, but who have been traditionally taught to always prioritize the preservation of outdoor sculpture and monuments. Conservators may also be conflicted if their employers task them with the care of contested monuments, calling professional ethics into question. At the crux of the matter are questions surrounding who is valued in our society and who gets to make decisions in regard to public spaces and the interpretation of history. Competing values surrounding the removal of contested monuments will be explored with panelists including artists, historians, and preservation professionals.
The panelists for this event are Dr. Renee Ater, Brent Leggs, and Ada Pickston. The discussion will be moderated by Nylah Byrd and Laleña Vellanoweth.
The statements and opinions expressed by panelists, hosts, attendees, or other participants of this event are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor are endorsed by, the American Alliance of Museums.