'GOOD and bad manners' concerning ageing and generation differences, has been the subject explored by 21 Southend women and girls, the result made into a ten minute film.

The film, titled Decorum, will be launched this Monday, July 16, in Southend at Twenty One cafe from 5pm - 6pm, and then screened daily on the Big Screen outside Focal Point gallery, in Elmer Square Southend, from July 17 - 29 at 12noon, 2pm and 4pm.

The women, who worked alongside local artists Elsa James, Paula Varjak, Sue Mayo and filmmaker Chuck Blue Lowry, came together as part of a project launched by Magic Me, a UK leading intergenerational arts charity based in East London, which works to bring generations together to "build a stronger, safer community", and Southend based arts charity Metal.

The project is linked to a number of other projects about ‘decorum’, also run by Magic Me.

In 2017 and 2018 Magic Me brought together a group of young women from the Mulberry School for Girls in Commercial Road, London, with older women drawn from the local community. The project resulted in a three screen film installation with live performance elements which was shown as part of the Women of the World Festival at London’s Southbank Centre.

The film was also subsequently shown at Tate Exchange.

Susan Langford, director of Magic Me, explained: "I am really excited to see these films made by young and older women in Southend, and watch them working together.

"Magic Me will be 30 next year and thanks to funding from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery we can now begin to expand from our home base in East London. Working with other arts organisations and partners is one of the best ways we can take our work to a wider audience. It means more people get to enjoy the benefits of these projects than we ever could hope to reach on our own. By working with local arts organisations we can create an ongoing interest locally in this kind of work. I hope Metal will be able to keep working on intergenerational projects in Southend so that even more local people can take part."

Echo: Decorum in Southend - filming at Chalkwell beach                              Picture: Kate Hodson

Magic Me is also partnering with Metal to create the work on a Decorum project in Peterborough, which will be shown on September 24. The Decorum projects in London, Southend and Peterborough have been made possible by funding from Arts Council England, Garfield Weston Foundation and the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

As well as working in Southend, Magic Me has been working with Essex County Council on a number of intergenerational initiatives including a training day for artists, recruiting and then mentoring artists in an intergenerational project in Rochford and running training days for care home activities organisers from across the county.

Elsa James, one of the participating artists, said: “Decorum has been a really interesting and thought-provoking project to be involved with.

"We have been looking at what kinds of behaviours people value - holding doors opens open for example, the manners that we keep and cherish, those we pass on and those that we reject.

"Decorum, it turns out, means different things to different people. Politeness in one culture is bad manners in another. Table manners surprisingly seem to touch a real nerve. This all fed into a collaboration with the filmmaker Chuck Blue Lowry. We are looking forwards to launching the film at Twenty One."

Twenty One is at Unit 21, Pier Approach, Western Esplanade, Southend.

The event is free but booking is required, via eventbrite.com/e/decorum-launch-event-tickets