Who decides what good behaviour is? What are the rules around how things are, or should be done, and are these any use today? Where do we learn our manners? What do we value? What do we reject? Where do we draw the line between bad manners and bad behaviour?
Decorum is a series of projects by intergenerational arts charity Magic Me. The projects seek to explore what ‘good behaviour’ means for women in the 21st Century.
In 2018 we have had 3 projects looking at this topic, in London, Southend and Peterborough. Each group, made up of school age girls and older women from the community, made a film (or films) as part of their work. In Southend & Peterborough we worked with arts organisation Metal.
In Decorum (Tower Hamlets) we were interested in how we manage behaviours we are not sure about, so we thought about people eating together with different understandings of good manners, houses with a 'shoes off rule' who have a guest who doesn't know the rule, people crying or singing in the street, with different reactions. The group had many different ideas of decorum, springing from different life experience and different cultural and faith frameworks, but there were also just different human reactions to situations. , and we wanted to show how much has to be navigated in living in London.
You can also see the Peterborough & Southend films here on Vimeo.
You can find out more about the project, comment and feedback on the film and find out how you can get involved with the Decorum project at magicme.co.uk
Decorum was funded by: Arts Council England, Garfield Weston Foundation and the Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. Developed through the Open Lab scheme at Barbican Guildhall.