Simon Zukas

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Family, Freedom Fighters, History, Mpapa Gallery, Zambia10 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 […]

Belonging and longing for home

Ruth HartleyDisplacement, Family, History, Home, identity, Journeys, Migration, pilgrimage, Slavery, Zambia, Zimbabwe2 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 […]

We need new names and new roles

Ruth HartleyFamily, Names6 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 HartleyAfrica, Albinism, Children's stories, Family, Human rights, identity, 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 HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Art, Books, Colonialism, Family, identity, Migration, Politics, Power, Racism, South Africa, The Shaping of Water, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, When I Was Bad11 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 […]