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 Bad10 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 […]

How to be a published writer in Zambia – or anywhere in the world

Ruth HartleyBooks, Education, Publication, The Shaping of Water, Writing, Writing Process, Zambia4 Comments

Writers Circle I want to thank Daniel Sikazwe very much or inviting me to take part with Mubanga Kalimamukwento, the author of The Mourning Bird. in this Writers Circle online forum.  Mubanga and I have published our books in different ways and I’m here to tell you about the decisions I made and why I decided to self-publish. First of […]

What I do all day when I’m writing

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Art Process, Books, Children's stories, Feminism, Imagination, Mpapa Gallery, Poetry, Publication, Reading, Storytelling, The Love and Wisdom Crimes, The Shaping of Water, The Spiral-Bound Notebooks, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, The White and Black Blues, Women's Rights, Writing, Writing Process, ZambiaLeave a Comment

Some problems faced by writers What are writers’ problems and what about yours? What do you all do when you’re writing? Please – do comment and tell me how you do things. If you’re a reader then you’re exactly what I need. Writers love readers. Readers, however, are often curious about the habits of writers. As both a writer and […]

Writing, art and the rewriting of history

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Art, Art Process, Colonialism, South Africa, Storytelling, The Shaping of Water, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, Truth, War5 Comments

I’ve had to learn a different history I grew up during the British Empire when Cecil John Rhodes was the hero of school history but I had a great teacher. She was a cynical idealist who toed no party lines. At Cape Town University under the Rhodes Memorial, I followed up her questioning style and explored a more radical history […]

The Shaping of Water

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Books, Colonialism, Creativity, Displacement, Freedom Fighters, identity, Politics, Power, Reviews, Storytelling, The Shaping of Water2 Comments

Returning to the past to build the future This year I time-travelled back more than 30 years. I returned to the Ridgeway Hotel in Lusaka to the place where golden weaver birds build their nests above small sun-worshipping crocodiles. Here, there once was the excellent Zintu craft shop, a regular Zambian ladies lunch, an Independence Day National Art Exhibition and […]