Cathy Hull began her career as a community tutor forty years ago establishing an adult education centre based in a comprehensive school. She has held senior posts in education including at Goldsmith’s University and the University of Kent. A focus of her work has been helping adults to value their informal experiential learning. At Macmillan, she established Macmillan Open Learning with programmes validated by over twenty-five UK universities and 22,000 students globally. Cathy has taught comparative literature for over forty years which together with her passion for memoirs has inspired this reflection on her mother.
Kumi Konno was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1959. She studied at Chelsea College of Arts in London. Her writing includes several series of articles for Japanese design magazines and a translation of an interior design book. She has curated national and international exhibitions of contemporary art and craft. She has always been interested in the methodology of creation; the relationship between human memory and creativity. This is her first foray into memoir writing.
Dr Vayu Naidu-Banfield: Inspired by her mother Jayarukmini Naidu MA, Vayu’s PhD in Leeds on Epic Storytelling led to projects in HM Prisons – reflecting on the positive impact of stories on diverse inmates; in Battered Women’s Shelters as myths of Mother as woman. Vayu Naidu Storytelling Theatre created intercultural performance productions touring internationally and Britain. During her AHRC Post-doctoral research on migration, mental health, multilingual literacy, she met Cathy Hull in Canterbury who mentored Learning for Lecturers. With Dr Caryn Solomon, she co-created storytelling awakening the human in organizationaldevelopment. Novels: ‘Sita’s Ascent’; ‘The Sari of Surya Vilas’; www.vayunaidu.com
Dr Rupal Shah has been a GP in the same Inner London practice for the past seventeen years. She has been immersed in her patients’ stories over this period and has come to realise that stories and health are inextricably intertwined; so that now, writing her own feels like a natural progression. Rupal has a background in medical writing and also works as an Associate Dean for Health Education England, with a particular focus on promoting inclusion in training and reducing bias. She is married to Alistair and has two daughters, Anya and Ava.
Veena Siddharth is a human rights advocate. She has worked on poverty, women’s rights, reproductive rights, and exclusion in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In writing her mother Saroja’s story, Veena aims to examine how we create new roots and connections when we leave what is familiar. Veena speaks several languages including Spanish, Nepali, Tamil, Italian and French. She finds inspiration in playing the viola in a chamber group and frequent walks in nature. Veena lives in Costa Rica with her husband Seth, son Kailash and daughter Leela.
Dr Caryn Solomon: Caryn began her career teaching Social Psychology and the Psychology of Women at Boston University. Forty years later, she ended it teaching Organisation Development at the London School of Economics. In between, she headed up an Organisation Development team in an international company for fifteen years and was a consultant to many organisations in different parts of the world. What she has learned throughout is the power of narrative – the transformative impact of stories in both the telling and the hearing. Storytelling has been a feature of Caryn’s family. This story is one her mother helped to tell.
Our Mothers Ourselves
In a world shaken by the great upheavals of World War and the collapse of Empire, six women from different corners of the world transcend the constraints of their different backgrounds. Their physical and emotional migrations open the way to personal journeys which redefine them and enable their dau...