Aesthetics, colonialisation of culture, and Mpapa Gallery

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Art Process, Colonialism, Creativity, Mpapa Gallery, ZambiaLeave a Comment

A time of discovery and learning Looking back at Mpapa Gallery we faced several important challenges which will interest Zambian artists today. The fact that the gallery was run by three practising African artists – me, Ruth Hartley, Cynthia Zukas, Patrick Mweemba, and started by Joan Pilcher, who had studied art at the Evelyn Hone College meant that we were […]

Rhodes Must Fall

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Politics, Racism, South Africa, Zambia10 Comments

I was 37 when Rhodesia became Zimbabwe in 1980 – 40 years ago. I was in Zimbabwe then and I rejoiced at that change. Rhodesia had lasted a surprisingly short time. Now, as I watch the Rhodes Must Fall campaign I wonder if we will learn from this past history if we remove it from our view or if we […]

BLACK LIVES MATTER and Zambian art history

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Art, Art Process, Colonialism, Creativity, Freedom Fighters, Human rights, Mpapa Gallery, Politics, Power, Printmaking, Race, Racism, South Africa, War, Zambia2 Comments

Black lives have always mattered – not just since the crisis of George Floyd’s murder. Everyone I worked with in Zambia had always felt the same about the fight against racism and it was fundamental to my own art and my work with Zambian artists. Black lives have mattered for centuries Mpapa Gallery and the best art possible In 1984 […]

What I do all day when I’m writing

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Art Process, Books, Children's stories, Feminism, Imagination, Mpapa Gallery, Poetry, Publication, Reading, Storytelling, The Love and Wisdom Crimes, The Shaping of Water, The Spiral-Bound Notebooks, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, The White and Black Blues, Women's Rights, Writing, Writing Process, ZambiaLeave a Comment

Some problems faced by writers What are writers’ problems and what about yours? What do you all do when you’re writing? Please – do comment and tell me how you do things. If you’re a reader then you’re exactly what I need. Writers love readers. Readers, however, are often curious about the habits of writers. As both a writer and […]

Writing, art and the rewriting of history

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Art, Art Process, Colonialism, South Africa, Storytelling, The Shaping of Water, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, Truth, War5 Comments

I’ve had to learn a different history I grew up during the British Empire when Cecil John Rhodes was the hero of school history but I had a great teacher. She was a cynical idealist who toed no party lines. At Cape Town University under the Rhodes Memorial, I followed up her questioning style and explored a more radical history […]