Lily and the baby that is the colour of love

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Displacement, Human rights, identity, Migration, Race, Racism, Songs, Storytelling, The Love and Wisdom Crimes, Writing2 Comments

That song about Lily, the pretty migrant from Djibouti Once again on Tuesday evening, the Krama Singers rehearsed the Pierre Perret 1977 protest song about Lily, who came to France in a ship full of immigrants ready to collect garbage in Paris. It’s a song I’ve grown to love as I’ve grown to love France – though I also see […]

The Society of Spectacle and what ‘appearance’ signifies for writers

Ruth HartleyArt, Art Process, Creativity, Film, identity, Politics, Promotion, Reading, Society, WritingLeave a Comment

Marketing books and the writer as commodity I didn’t know yesterday what I would post today until a television programme last night that was supposed to be amusing made me angry. There was noisy laughter, mockery and four-letter words. Frankie Boyle, the presenter joked that Guy Debord had shot himself in his heart – or  – maybe his head – […]

Tears, fears, longing, belonging and living.

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Art, Colonialism, Creativity, Displacement, Family, Freedom Fighters, Human rights, identity, justice, Migration, Poetry, Politics, Power, Race, Racism, Religion, South Africa, War, Zambia2 Comments

Why I cried about who I might become “Why do you want to become a French citizen?” I was asked this question at the end of a gruelling two hour naturalisation interview. I burst into tears. “It’s such a difficult and important decision,” I replied, sniffling. “I’ve had to leave too many places I thought of as home. I want […]

The story of my stories — writing and publishing

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Books, Creativity, identity, Poetry, Politics, Reading, Reviews, Storytelling, The Love and Wisdom Crimes, The Shaping of Water, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, The White and Black Blues, Writing, Writing Process, Zambia10 Comments

The storyteller’s story It is time to tell of my own journey as a writer from the young poet in 1961 to the writer of today. It’s a story of both writing and publishing. I am in the process of publishing three more books right now. They are a novel, The Love and Wisdom Crimes, a memoir, When I was […]

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 […]