The AREVA Writers’ Room

The AREVA Writers’ Room is a 9 month writing programme for organisations wanting to evaluate the institutional language they use and to create new vocabularies of equity and care. The Writers’ Room will enable organisations to identify language or communications that create unwitting bias. Then using creative writing and textual analysis approaches, the programme will help participants invent new language for their organisations. Part of CVAN London’s equality programme, the Writers’ Room aims to address one systemic cause of inequality—the use of language—in the London and wider visual arts sector.

Led by artist Dr Jack Ky Tan, the Writers’ Room comprises a series of monthly workshops and meetings between May to December 2024.

The participating organisations and artists are:


In 2020, following increasing reports and high profile whistleblowing of racist incidents experienced by artists and cultural workers in the arts sector, CVAN London members expressed a desire to create a meaningful, proactive response to bring about change. The Anti-Racist and Equitable Visual Arts (AREVA) project began with a set of knowledge exchanges between CVAN members in June-July 2022, leading to the publication of the AREVA Report in Jan 2023. The report’s 5 key recommendations have now been extrapolated into 4 action areas, one of which is to create a sector-wide Writers’ Room.

The AREVA Writers’ Room addresses members’ concerns about the use of language in arts organisations that do not resonate with equitable values. On the contrary, the institutional language found in policies, emails/memos, job adverts, etc., borrows semiotics from other industries and thereby imports values and creates behaviours that may not be compatible with values in the arts sector.

The Writers’ Room attempts rectify this in a yearlong pilot by (1) creating skills to deconstruct existing language and to develop new writing that is equitable and bespoke to arts organisations; (2) establishing a self-sustaining network of organisational writers who help each other continue to rewrite their institution’s language; and (3) developing a working glossary and resources that can be shared sector-wide.


The programme is process-based and will require participants to be open to changing their perspectives on reading, writing and communication. More importantly participants are asked to apply their learning to making language changes in their institutions: in tone, diction, structure, form and clarity.

As an artist, Jack will facilitate this learning using an art and social practice-led methodology. This means exploring words and organisations as art medium. The programme aims to develop the participants’ skill and facility in using this medium, with a view to creating organisational change as live social sculpture. This approach draws on an art history of artist-led bureaucratic and organisational practices or interventions, as well as new materialist, postcolonial and performance theory.

Structure of the Programme

The Writers’ Room comprises a series of monthly meetings between May to December 2024:

  • 3 creative writing workshops to develop critical reading and writing skills,
  • 4 peer support meetings to help each other creatively rewrite organisational documents (policies, press releases, notices, minutes), and to develop a new lexicon.
  • 1 ‘next steps’ evaluation meeting, and
  • an end of project ‘zine launch.

The meetings are make up 3 phases of knowledge creation:

Co-creating knowledge:

  • 01 May 2024, Workshop 1 – Reading (deconstructing language)
  • 29 May 2024 Workshop 2  – Writing (inventing formats and lexicons)
  • 26 Jun 2024  Workshop 3 – Presenting (communicating/disseminating writing)

Applying knowledge:

  • 31 Jul 2024, Monthly Writer’s meeting 1
  • 25 Sep 2024, Monthly Writer’s meeting 2
  • 30 Oct 2024, Monthly Writer’s meeting 3

Disseminating Knowledge:

  • 27 Nov 2024, Monthly Writer’s meeting 4 (Evaluation/Zine production)
  • 12 Dec 2024, Writing Hubs Launch event (venue and times tbc)

We hope that in 2025, the Writers’ Room programme will be repeated in writing hubs across London led by the 2024 participants, and supported by CVAN London.

AREVA Writers' Room