October is Diversity Month in Wandsworth libraries: celebrating and learning together about the many and varied experiences and cultures within our borough.

All events are free but booking is essential – please call or visit the hosting library to secure your place.

This programme is correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.

Hand Print Garland Craft
Tuesday 3 October 3.30-4.30pm Battersea Library
Create a hand print garland inspired by your heritage to hang in the children’s library for Diversity Month.
Free drop-in session 020 7223 2334

Iqbal Hussain
The Plan to Partition India and Pakistan
Tuesday 3 October 6.30pm-8pm Tooting Library
Using records from the National Archives along with maps and photographs, the planning for Partition will be explored with the subsequent fall out, whereby 10 to 12 million people were displaced along religious lines.
Free - booking essential 020 8767 0543

Polish Veterans
Wednesday 4 October 6.30-8pm Battersea Library
Two Polish WW2 veterans who came to live in London, will talk about their experiences.  Marzenna Schejbal took part in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and was one of the people, who survived, using canal system to escape from the Germans.  Jan Stangryciuk - bomber crew member of the 300 Squadron who flew on Wellingtons and Lancasters - was shot down twice.
Free - booking essential 020 7223 2334

Sylvia Modi African Art Workshop
Thursday 5 October 4 pm Earlsfield Library
Celebrating African culture and fashion, participants can create their own African inspired surface design using tribal art, textiles, jewellery or sculptures and then take part in a head wrap session to try out their own head wrap.
Free - booking essential 020 8946 2088

Polish Story Time
Saturday 7 October 2-2.30pm Wandsworth Town Library
Stories in Polish for children aged 2+ 
Free drop in session 020 8877 1742

Amma Poku
First woman mayor of an African city: Constance Cummings-John
Monday 9 October 6.45-8pm Tooting Library
In 1966 Constance Cummings-John (1918-2000) became the first African woman mayor of a major African city - her birthplace, Freetown in Sierra Leone.  She was a teacher and ran a quarrying business.  As a politician she was active in local, national and black movements.  Heavily involved in the end of colonial rule in Sierra Leone, she was attending a conference outside the country, when the military staged a coup d'etat in 1967, and the city council was dissolved.  She then settled in Tooting, where she became active in Labour politics and the disarmament movement.  In 1976 she returned home and worked for the SLPP but as conditions deteriorated, she came back to London. Join Wandsworth resident, Amma Poku, for an informative talk in which she shares some of the history behind this remarkable woman.
Free - booking essential 020 8767 0543

Barbara Ellis
The Americas and Africa Before and After Columbus
Tuesday 10 October 6.30pm-8.30pm Battersea Library
This interactive session will partly be a reflection on what you already know about, as well as looking at the events that took place from 1492 to 1838 when the enslaved Africans liberated themselves from slavery. The session will also include discussion, readings and book signing.
Free - booking essential 020 7223 2334

Beverley Duguid
Glaucoma the 'silent stealer of sight'
Wednesday 11 October, 6.30pm Battersea Library
Suddenly one night in 2009 Beverley discovered she’d lost her peripheral vision.  That same year she was diagnosed with Glaucoma.  Two operations later her sight is now stable.  Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the UK and those of African or Afro-Caribbean heritage are eight times more likely to develop it.  This talk is about Beverley’s journey in dealing with this disease, her road to recovery through mindfulness and alternative therapies alongside conventional treatment.  She will also discuss how those of African heritage can take steps to prevent the disease from occurring or if detected how to receive the right treatment.
Free - booking essential 020 7223 2334

Bonjour Mes Amis!: French-English Baby Rhyme Time
Monday 16 October 11-11.30am Battersea Library
Enjoy new songs and traditional tunes in both English and French.
Free drop-in session for children 020 7223 2334

Marion Molteno
Uncertain Light
Monday 16 October 6.30pm Balham Library
Join us to in meeting prize-winning local author talking about her latest novel.  Marion grew up in South Africa and left after being involved in student protests against the apartheid regime. She has worked and travelled extensively in Africa while working for Save the Children. Uncertain Light, reflects those experiences, and is set among international humanitarian workers. It begins when a UN peace negotiator is taken hostage in Central Asia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Free - booking essential 020 8673 1129

Diwali Drawing
Tuesday 17 October 3.30pm Battersea Park Library
Draw your own sari or dress design in the Library and colour and decorate it.
Free drop in session 020 7720 4122 

Michelle Yaa Asantewa
The spirit remains: how Europe Demonised African Indigenous Religions
Wednesday 18 October 6.30pm Battersea Library
During slavery and colonialism there were consistent measures to discredit, demonise and outlaw African traditional religious practices on the continent and in the diaspora.  Labelled primitive, fetish and mumbo jumbo among other derogatory names by colonial authorities, these indigenous practices continue to be negatively represented throughout the world.  This presentation celebrates these traditional practices and will highlight, despite attempts to demonise them, how Africans on the continent and the diaspora continue to venerate their ancestors and use African spirituality to experience wholeness and wellbeing, whether this is in secret or in open communal rituals.
Free - booking essential 020 7223 2334

Handa's Surprise
Thursday 19 October 9.30-10.30am Northcote Library
Come along and listen to stories set in Africa and learn about African fruits. Stay for some African fruit sampling and activity sheets.
Free drop in session, 020 7223 2336

Polish Story Time
Thursday 19 October 4-4.30pm Tooting Library
Stories for children aged 2+
Free drop in session 020 8767 0543

Kathleen Chater
Fugitive Slaves in 19th Century Britain
Thursday 19 October 6.30pm-8pm Putney Library
Following the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, many Americans who had escaped to the free states were in danger of being re-enslaved.  A number fled to Britain and spoke about their lives, going on book tours to promote their autobiographies, or finding other ways of making a living.  Who were they and how were they received? Dr Kathleen Chater is a writer, historian and genealogist.  Her most recent publication is a guide to mental health records, My Ancestor Was a Lunatic.  Her other books include Tracing Your Huguenot Ancestors; Tracing Your Family Tree and Research for Media Production. She also writes articles and reviews on social and family history topics.
Free - booking essential 020 8780 3085

Irenosen Okojie
Saturday 21 October 12 noon Battersea Park Library
Meet writer Irenosen Okojie who will be talking about her work.  Her debut novel Butterfly Fish won a Betty Trask award and was shortlisted for an Edinburgh International First Book Award.  Her work has been featured in The Observer, The Guardian, the BBC and the Huffington Post amongst other publications.  Her short stories have been published internationally. She was presented at the London Short Story Festival by Ben Okri as a dynamic writing talent to watch and was featured in the Evening Standard Magazine as one of London’s exciting new authors. Her short story collection Speak Gigantular, published by Jacaranda Books was shortlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Saboteur Awards and nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award.
Free - booking essential 020 7720 4122

Alex Wheatle
Monday 23 October 6.30pm-8pm Battersea Library
Alex will talk about his experiences as a writer for adults and children.  His Crongton series for young people includes his most recent book, Straight Outta Crongton.  His 2016 book Crongton Knights won the 50th Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.  One of the judging panel, said of the book: "Wheatle’s writing is poetic, rhythmic and unique, remaking the English language with tremendous verve. Though Crongton is his invention, it resonates with many urban situations, not only in Britain but around the world. Crongton Knights is a major novel from a major voice in British children’s literature”.
Free - booking essential 020 7223 2334

Italian Storytime with Carlotta
Thursday 25th October 3.30pm Balham Library
Special storytime for 3-5 year olds.
Free – no booking required 020 8946 2088

Italian Storytime with Carlotta
Thursday 26 October 3pm Wandsworth Town Library
Special storytime for 3-5 year olds.
Free – no booking required 020 8877 1742

Adrian Grzegorzewski
Polish Book Event
Thursday 26 October 6.30pm Tooting Library
Meet with Polish author new polish writer, Adrian Grzegorzewski.  He is the author of Czas tesknoty and Czas burzy, historical romances based before and during World War II, telling the story about the complicated relations between the Poles and the Ukrainians.  He now lives in south London where he works for the Royal Mail.
Free – booking essential 020 8767 0543

Raghini Rajgopal and Natiya Alaya Academy
Asian Classical and Dance Workshop and Performance
Tooting Library Friday 27 October 10 30am-12pm
Balham Library Friday 27 October 2.30pm-4pm
Raghini Rajgopal and her students will perform classical and folk dances from India.  Folk dances are numerous in number and style and vary according to the local traditions of the respective state, ethnic or geographic regions.  Contemporary dances include refined and experimental fusions of classical, folk and Western forms. You will get the opportunity to join the group of dancers and try your dancing skills in the library!
Free – booking essential Tooting Library 020 8767 0543
Balham Library 020 8673 1129

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