Blood Red Moon Poem – The Lunar Eclipse 27th July, 2018

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Family, Poetry, Zambia8 Comments

    LUNAR ECLIPSE JULY 27th, 2018 On a routine night the ordinary moon swims through a shoal of cloud. It slides upwards as blotches of water vapour in saturated air slip away eastwards. It’s a dead ball of dirt whose dust was kicked about by two astronauts in 1969. Held in place by Earth’s gravitational pull, it circles our […]

What is an identity? How do we identify ourselves?

Ruth HartleyCreativity, Family, Human rights, identity, photography2 Comments

How do we identify ourselves? What is identity? What criteria do any of us use to identify ourselves? Is it appearance? Tribe? Work? Status? Religion? Why do we need an identity? What do we use our identity for? To belong somewhere? To exclude another or many others? What identity do we think we have in someone else’s eyes? We are […]

Issam Kourbaj, artist and mentor – “Dark Water, Burning World”

Ruth HartleyArt, Art Process, Burning World, Cambridge, Creativity, Displacement, Family, Human rights, Issam Kourbaj, Kettle's Yard, Migration, WarLeave a Comment

Wonderful good fortune Sometimes you know that you have been really lucky! I was when I met Issam Kourbaj, a Syrian artist in Cambridge. I can’t remember who told me about Issam’s workshops but I went along to one without a clue about what to expect. Possibly I heard about Issam from someone at Cambridge Artworks where I had a […]

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 […]