This Mournable Body, Tsitsi Dangarembga

Ruth Hartley Storytelling, Colonialism, Conflict, Creative Writing, Displacement, Human rights, Politics, Power, RacismLeave a Comment

Imprisoned minds in colonised bodies Tsitsi Dangarembga and Julie Barnes were arrested on 31st July 2020 for walking down a street in Harare carrying placards that simply said “We want better. Reform our institutions.”. They were convicted on 29th September 2022 and given suspended sentences and fines for inciting violence. Dangarembga is a writer and filmmaker who has worked with […]

Fear, anger and the attempted murder of Salman Rushdie

Ruth Hartley Storytelling, Creativity, Nuanced Thinking, Politics, Religion, Truth2 Comments

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie was banned in Zambia In Zambia, The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie was a lump hidden under a towel in my bedside cupboard. It wasn’t a very effective hiding place. I knew that. I was afraid and angry every time I opened the cupboard door. I was afraid one of my house staff would […]

The Booklaunch of When We Were Wicked

Ruth HartleyBook Launch, Memoir, Politics, Southern Africa, When I Was Bad, When We Were Wicked6 Comments

When We Were Wicked My new short story and short memoir collection, When We Were Wicked has been published this January 2021 during the pandemic lockdown. How on earth could I organise a book launch for it? This is what happened: Celebration online, in print, and in person! Here is the first answer – Booklaunch magazine! I discovered Booklaunch through […]

White Woman, Black Nationalists – Diana Mitchell’s Memoir

Ruth HartleyColonialism, Freedom Fighters, Human rights, Memoir, Politics, Racism, Southern Africa, Visual Arts, Zambia2 Comments

Diana Mitchell – an important Zimbabwean journalist and archivist I was delighted to be told of Diana Mitchell’s memoir and bought it immediately. Its 300 pages are densely packed with Diana’s personal and political life over the period when Rhodesia became Zimbabwe. It isn’t a quick read for me – every page contains so much that relates to my life […]

Blame it on the man in the brandy barrel – Admiral Nelson

Ruth HartleyApartheid, Colonialism, Family, Hamera and Hartley, Identity, Migration, Politics, Power, Racism, South Africa, The Shaping of Water, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, When I Was Bad, When We Were Wicked11 Comments

Art and storytelling 200 years later by a distant descendant. Born into the British Empire during the Second World War in a colonial country that no longer exists, I’ve been flung around in a turbulent vortex of political and personal change. My art and my writing are the ways I hang on to the world spinning around me. I have […]