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

Ruth HartleyColonialism, Family, Feminism, Human rights, Installations, Racism, Slavery, Storytelling2 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 […]

Mary Wollstonecraft, nude statues & feminism

Ruth HartleyArt, Education, Feminism, Slavery8 Comments

Mary Wollstonecraft naked A statue to honour Mary Wollstonecraft, created by Maggi Hambling and commissioned by Mary on the Green, has been erected at Newington Green. It depicts a small, stern-faced, naked female figure with a bush of hair on her pubic mound rising out of swirling silver shapes and it has caused a great deal of outrage and criticism […]

Lines in the sand erased in the sea of history

Ruth HartleyArt Process, Colonialism, Creativity, History, Power, SlaveryLeave a Comment

‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’ There was a regular history exam question at my school that asked students to debate whether ‘the hour made the man or the man made the hour’. It usually related to a period of history that we had just finished studying. For example – did Britain’s survival in WW2 depend solely on Winston Churchill’s […]

Inspiration, sharing, genius and intellectual property

Ruth HartleyApartheid, Art, Creativity, Human rights, Mpapa Gallery, Slavery, Uncategorized, Writing, ZambiaLeave a Comment

Heroes and Scapegoats As you can probably tell I’m unimpressed by the idea of male genius in art and male heroes in political history, when its written by men. It’s a useful trick to focus on a key individual in an epoch when there’s an exam looming but it leaves women out and falsifies history. it also allows people to […]

Cuba, art, installations, Zambia, Africa, and the 1989 Havana Biennial

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Creativity, Imagination, Installations, Mpapa Gallery, Politics, Power, Printmaking, Racism, Slavery, War, ZambiaLeave a Comment

Che Guevara and that famous poster Old revolutionaries will remember the importance of Cuban screen prints as propaganda tools for the fight for freedom all around the world. In 1968, my communist friend, Bill, insisted that we visit the Cuban Embassy in London to see this particular brilliant and sophisticated form of art and agitprop. We all remember the poster […]