A Guide to Values for a New Language

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A safe, inclusive and accessible language for everyone in the arts and culture sector.

Society is on the move. A new generation of makers, thinkers, speakers, writers and activists is rising. The changing street scene, the growing empowerment of marginalised people, global movements and the effects of Covid-19, force the art and culture sector to reinvent itself. At the same time, these times also offer the sector an opportunity to become a leader in the field of safety, inclusion and accessibility. It is time to ask different questions and find new answers. This all starts with the language itself and who is allowed to say what, when and how to each other (and why). The Dutch language is a product of history, geography and time. The language shows the views of the dominant power group which, in the description of the other, sees its own superiority and power position strengthened. The Values Guide for a New Language strives for a decolonized, inclusive and accessible language for all. 

Language is a starting point here. It provides the framework for communication and interaction. It is not an end point. Changing words does not solve essential problems. Language is not static, it is constantly changing. The guide is not a language guide but presents fifteen overarching values which call for change from within. With these clear recommendations, suggestions, guidelines and clear examples, the guide aims to create an open and level playing field for everyone. By doing so, we learn to communicate with and about each other in a different way. 

Editing: Mounir Samuel by order of Code Diversity & Inclusion 

Download the guide Values For A New Language

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