The Shaping of Water

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Colonialism, Displacement, Freedom Fighters, Storytelling, The Shaping of Water, Writing, Zambia2 Comments

The Shaping of Water Such a lovely thing happened to me today. My first novel The Shaping of Water has appeared on the Facebook Page and Website of Gadsden Publishers in Lusaka Zambia. This is the right place for my book to be – Zambia is the home of this novel. You can see the video about the book here […]

Remembering Rica Hodgson — my brave friend

Ruth HartleyAfrica, apartheid, Freedom Fighters, South Africa, Writing, ZambiaLeave a Comment

Hello friends and fellow readers. Are you amongst those who didn’t see or couldn’t read my post on 20 January? It was about my friend and mentor, Rica Hodgson, who died recently. I am really sorry that it didn’t reach all of you who are interested in South African history and the anti-apartheid movement. This was due to technical problems […]

Rica Hodgson: “foot soldier for freedom”, friend and hero

Ruth HartleyAfrica, apartheid, Freedom Fighters, South Africa, Writing, Zambia5 Comments

Rica Hodgson — the freedom fighter who rescued me 52 years ago This post is harder to write than I expected. I was at my desk and about to write Rica a letter when I learnt that she had died. It was not unanticipated. She was 97 and had been in frail health for a while. I had only just […]

The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Colonialism, Displacement, Family, Migration, Politics, Race, Racism, ZambiaLeave a Comment

New Year in another country On New Year’s Day we fled from France across the snow-covered Pyrenees pursued by stormy winds and heavy rain. There we wandered along empty twisting roads among ruined and isolated stone villages and ancient monasteries in the  brutal mountains of Spanish Aragon. In our hotel room the television showed no news and told no stories […]

Mythological me – images from a memoir of childhood

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Colonialism, Family, Imagination, Race7 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, Zambia5 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 […]