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 […]

When I Was Bad

Ruth HartleyApartheid, Family, Feminism, Human rights, Religion, South Africa, When I Was BadLeave a Comment

Wicked women Bridget and I are the same age and we were both ‘unmarried mothers’ a long time ago. Bridget became pregnant in Ireland at 17 years. She escaped to London but was sent home by a priest to the torture of the brutal Bessborough home, a Catholic institution for unmarried mothers. Her tragic story and the death of her […]

We are on earth to grow bones

Ruth HartleyReligion, Truth2 Comments

Compost It’s a sunny winter’s day in my garden and I’m busy digging compost for my raised vegetable beds. I’m doing a job that gives me great pleasure. I’m outdoors, the weather is kind enough, the air is fresh and the sun is bright. My fork goes easily into the ground to loosen the earth and my woman-sized spade lifts […]

From 1966 District Six in Cape Town to Zambia and back – the start of this writer’s journey

Ruth HartleyApartheid, Family, History, Mpapa Gallery, Politics, Racism, Religion, South Africa, Southern Africa, When I Was Bad, Zambia14 Comments

Beyond reconciliation – a virtual walk through different faiths At the start of this week, I was invited to participate in this online event by Nic Paton, grandson of Alan Paton, author of Cry The Beloved Country. Thank you, Nic! The event was organised by the District Six Reconciliation Day Interfaith Walk. It was a healing and uplifting hour and […]

Beauty, culture, colonialism and the purpose of art

Ruth HartleyAesthetics, Art Process, Colonialism, Creativity, Festival, Hamera and Hartley, Installations, m’Other Art, Religion, Visual Arts3 Comments

Can standards of beauty be imposed on artists? What is beauty and is it an essential part of art? Is there such a thing as a universal standard of beauty in art? I ask because the questions are relevant to discussions about the impact of colonialism on indigenous cultures. That’s an enormous subject and there won’t be any quick or […]