Fly with me

Ruth Hartley Storytelling, Art by Ruth Hartley, Books by Ruth Hartley, Displacement, Installations, Migration, Refugee, When We Were Wicked2 Comments

We have a wonderful red Chinese kite that we bought in Shanghai in 2007. It’s a giant squid that flies with beautiful ease, but needs both space and wind. Here in our village we have space, but not much wind. That’s changing with the climate. The wind we get now is gusty, dusty and inconstant. In Zambia I would see […]

Belonging and longing for home

Ruth HartleyDisplacement, Exile, Home, Identity, Journey, Migration, Race, Refugee2 Comments

Settlers and the unsettled I grew up in a settler community of new homes but the land we took was already the home of African peoples. Many of my school friends’ families were Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe who had nowhere else to go and hoped one day to go to Israel. I quote from a friend Paul M who […]

What is an identity? How do we identify ourselves?

Ruth HartleyCreativity, Family, Human rights, Identity, Photography, Poetry, Refugee2 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 Process, Creativity, Displacement, Family, Human rights, Migration, Refugee, Visual Arts, 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 […]