Mythological me – images from a memoir of childhood

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Colonialism, Family, Imagination, Race3 Comments

For a child, facts are fantastical and fantasy, factual Somewhere in my infancy, there is a thick green privet hedge, clipped and trimmed to right-angled perfection. It encloses a perfectly square empty space brimful of desolation. It contains no house, no people live there and it is nameless. Its eternal position is located somewhere inside the fortnight when my mythical […]

Driving back over my childhood

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Displacement, Family, Poetry1 Comment

Going home to Zimbabwe Because of the unexpected changes in Zimbabwe last week I am posting two poems – one from 1980 when I returned to my father’s farm, and another from 1961 my last year at school. Ford Laser speeds up the dual highway. (Commercial break) Camera pans back to parents. Airport to homecoming – half an hour and […]

Love Stories, World Wars, Armistice Day & why I wrote The Tin Heart Gold Mine

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Books, Migration, Mining, Politics, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, War, Zambia6 Comments

Today 11.11.2017 is Armistice Day. Next year is the centenary of the end of World War One. On that day the German East African army was undefeated. It only surrendered on 25.11.1918 two weeks later. The surrender was signed in Zambia at Mbala (Abercorn),- check out the website – all those fascinating facts link to The Tin Heart Gold Mine […]

Storytelling in words and pictures and & what it means for history, fiction and our lives today

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Books, Colonialism, Storytelling, The Shaping of Water, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, War, Zambia3 Comments

The importance of art and photos – Gallery 37d Lusaka Zambia Its wonderful when things come together to help enrich our lives and our understanding of the world. There is an art gallery in Lusaka Zambia – Gallery 37d – that is the home of the stART Foundation which supports Zambian artists. Apart from this important work they have been […]

Robert Loder and his gift to Zambian artists of the Triangle International Artists Workshops

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Art Process, Creativity, Zambia4 Comments

Making Art This blog is a tribute to Robert Loder, a great and generous person. Some of the best things that happened to me in Zambia were because I met Robert Loder and he involved me in his passion for setting up artists’ workshops. “Making art is what is important,” Robert said to me one day. I have never forgotten […]

Gabriel Ellison – artist, writer, designer and extraordinary woman

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Books, Zambia14 Comments

  Gabriel Ellison Gabriel Ellison, MBE and Grand Officer of Distinguished Service, was a very private person. You would never have guessed from her manner what an important role she has played in Zambia or that she was decorated by both the British Government and the Zambian government for her services to the arts in Zambia. She worked tirelessly all […]

The sound and colour of an authentic African voice

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Art Process, Colonialism, Learning, Nuanced Thinking, Racism, Slavery

Slavery and Slavers, Black and White and Brett Bailey’s Exhibit B A similar debacle to the recent Whitney event mentioned in my previous post, took place in London in September 2014 when a South African artist, Brett Bailey, showed  Exhibit B. Did Bailey want to make the descendants of white colonists and  slavers think about their historic involvement in this […]

Do writers and artists think about the colour of their skin or what is inside and outside it?

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Art Process, Racism2 Comments

Right and wrong writing and art My last post had some very interesting comments made about it. I also had follow-up by email and I was sent this NBC News article from the USA which contains a quote that seemed very important for me personally. Thank you to those who sent and forwarded this article. Here’s the quote but the […]

Is White Writing Black, Right Writing or Wrong Writing?

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Politics, Race, Storytelling, The Tin Heart Gold Mine8 Comments

Writing black and white people, men and women, good and bad. This is a rewrite of post on Marginal Scribbling that contains some complicated ideas that need thrashing out with other writers and readers. I intended to repost this anyway but it seemed more relevant after the launch of my novel The Tin Heart Gold Mine because I was asked […]

Writing and selling The Tin Heart Gold Mine

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Promotion, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, Writing6 Comments

Writers need to sell books Writers write – rather than talk about what they write – but the current publishing market forces us to become Independent Authors and acquire self-promotional skills entirely different from writing. The idea of a book launch for The Tin Heart Gold Mine gave me sleepless nights, but, nevertheless, we decided to hold the event at […]