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by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 01/02/2023 11:34 AM

In Focus: Ruth’s Story

by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 01/02/2023 11:34 AM

Mother, Activist and PhD student Ruth Nortey shares her story of making a podcast as part of our National Lottery Funded project Art of Resistance that explored Bristol’s rich history of activism. Ruth took part in a series of  podcast making workshops, led by Miranda Rae and delivered in collaboration with Ujima FM. Click here to listen to Ruth's podcast or continue below to read her story.

"My passions really lie in increasing representation of people with marginalised voices, giving people voices, giving people space, making sure that people from marginalised groups"

"My name’s Ruth Nortey, I currently live in Bristol with my partner and my little boy, and I am working towards a PhD at Cardiff University which is exploring the disability employment gap and looking at ways to get more disabled people into good quality jobs with career progression.

Most recently, I was a Black and Green ambassador through an initiative led by Ujima Radio and Bristol Green Capital Partnership that aims to get more black and brown people into the environmental movement in Bristol and beyond.

My passions really lie in increasing representation of people with marginalised voices, giving people voices, giving people space, making sure that people from marginalised groups - so for me that means disabled people but also black women - more space and more attention and representation.

In making the podcast I learned a lot - I learned how to build a story, how to capture audiences and how to make that interesting to the public. I was really supported to put my idea together, to run through each process of the podcast, and work on how to build the podcast as well, as that’s something that’s completely new to me.  I've got a visual impairment myself, so I find it quite tricky to do the editing and knowing how to put the different pieces of the podcast together – but I had lots of one-to-one support from the team. As a disabled person, I think it’s really important that we have that space where we feel comfortable in coming to, where we can get the additional support that we need, and I felt that I got that support through this project which was great.

For me, being a disabled person, I really wanted to talk about the impact that climate change was going to have on disabled people as that’s not something we really hear about on mainstream media. I had a chance to really discuss and share my knowledge, and also the knowledge of the people that took part in the podcast as well, so the Bristol Disability Equality Forum, and Megan as well who really supported the podcast and shared their experience and their knowledge, and to be honest without them this podcast wouldn’t be what it is. I came up with the idea and knew exactly what I wanted to do but they are the people on the ground that are doing it, and I really wanted to showcase the work that they are doing.

For me, my future plans, one day I will finish my PhD, so I will become a Dr and I will be able to use my research experience to expand my knowledge and help other people as well. I really want to continue my mission to increase representation, to be able to give people a platform to have their voices heard, and to continue my research as well. I think the focus of my research is definitely going to be around disabled people, it’s going to focus on the experiences of black people as well. More recently, after becoming a mum, I want to explore the experiences of mothers, and particularly black disabled mothers because that’s what I am and I want to explore how other black disabled mothers are navigating this world of motherhood.

And then, finally, I think I definitely want to explore the environmental movement a bit more and see how I can use my research skills within the environmental movement to increase representation, to give marginalised people within that movement a greater platform and give them a voice as well."

 

Stories of Resistance was created as part of  Art of Resistance, a two-year, Heritage Lottery funded project exploring 100 years of social activism, protest and civil disobedience in Bristol and the art that underpinned each movement.

 

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