Simon Zukas

Ruth HartleyApartheid, Family, Freedom Fighters, History, Mpapa Gallery, Southern Africa, Zambia13 Comments

Simon Zukas, a kind and principled freedom fighter There are people in one’s life who are so important and yet so much woven into the fabric of that life that you take them for granted. This is true even of the people in our families, parents, siblings and also spouses. There comes a sudden moment when you realise that you […]

We need new names and new roles

Ruth HartleyFamily, Identity, Naming6 Comments

Do we marry a person or marry a wife or husband? We were a new family, my mother, stepfather, two step-sisters, my sister and me. I was 16 years old when my mother and stepfather had a bitter argument – a natural part of adapting to a new relationship. My mother in utter misery, took to her bed weeping and […]

International Albinism Awareness Day

Ruth HartleyChildren's Stories, Family, Human rights, Identity, Southern Africa, The Colourless Child, ZambiaLeave a Comment

I’m writing a new story titled The Colourless Child. It’s taking me on a new journey and I’m making new discoveries. This Sunday 13th June is the United Nations International Albinism Awareness Day and the theme is Strength Beyond all Odds When I lived in Zambia I taught art at the International School and this wonderful photo by Ian Murphy […]

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 […]

Cancelling people, erasing history, burning libraries, & killing souls

Ruth Hartley Storytelling, Colonialism, Family, Feminism, Human rights, Installations, Racism, Slavery2 Comments

Burying a living soul and the death I was responsible for When Mike walked back into my flat that day back in 1968, he was dead. His face was rigid. His eyes stared blindly. “My father buried me.” Mike spoke as if every word was a stone placed on his own grave. “Dad held a funeral service in the synagogue […]