The purpose and power of poetry

Ruth HartleyPoetry, Politics, Publication, Songs, Writing, Zambia4 Comments

At school, we learnt to declaim poetry. It was mostly heroic stuff designed to inspire patriotism and action like Felicia Dorothea Heman’s Casabianca about filial duty and Thomas Macaulay’s incredibly lengthy poem Horatius at the Bridge about courage. We weren’t taught to make poetry, and poetry was never going to be about us and our lives. Even though this kind […]

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 […]

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

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Family, History, Mpapa Gallery, Politics, Racism, Religion, South 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 […]

Displaced people, refugees, immigrants, colonisation and war

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Displacement, History, War, Zambia2 Comments

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (Quote from George Santayana  but many other people re-quote or dispute this saying) The Nuremberg Trial and the Nuremberg Laws I write this post 75 years after the start of the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war crimes, antisemitism and genocide. It’s a day that grows more significant every year […]

Art, beauty, colonialism and Mpapa Gallery

Ruth HartleyArt, Art Process, Colonialism, Creativity, Education, Mpapa Gallery, Zambia6 Comments

Discussion about art and beauty – and art and colonisation – is challenging. My past connection with Zambia and Mpapa Gallery, and my present connection with post-colonialism and my own art are about how I live my life. It has been said that Mpapa Gallery was colonial in its support for artists. Mpapa Gallery wasn’t and couldn’t be colonial for […]