About this Archive
Amanda Sebestyen was a freelance writer, editor, and campaigner who was involved in the creation of many publications of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Her work included funding Feminist Books in Leeds, acting as guarantor for the early Women's Liberation Workshop, and bringing Robin Morgan’s poetry collection Monster to Britain in 1972 as a collectively illustrated pirate edition.
After attending the first UK Women’s Liberation conference at Ruskin College in 1970, Sebestyen joined the Notting Hill consciousness-raising group, and helped Selma James to print her pamphlet "Women the Unions and Work, or What is Not to Be Done" at the Notting Hill community-based Crest Press. She then moved to join the first radical feminist group in the UK and contributed to its pamphlet "Thoughts on Feminism" for the 1972 Women’s Liberation National Conference in London. In 1973 the group produced a Radical Feminist edition of Shrew with a cover picture by Artemisia Gentileschi. Meanwhile Sebestyen was a squatter in all-women sites in Islington and then mixed radical libertarian socialist sites in East London, formative experiences from 1972-74.
She was a member of Women's Research and Resources Centre (later, The Feminist Library), wrote the mission strapline for Trouble & Strife magazine and contributed articles to Catcall, a publication for internal movement debate. In 1978 she was part of the radical feminist CR group which produced a controversial Feminist Practice pamphlet for a conference at White Lion Street school. (A copy is in the Feminist Library collection in the Bishopsgate Institute). Her Chart of Tendencies in the Movement then featured in Ann Oakley’s book Subject Women in 1981.
She was a member of the Spare Rib Collective from 1977-1981. She was an art and books reviewer for City Limits and the New Statesman between 1984 and 1993. She published SPLIT magazine (an offshoot of International Times) from 1986-7. She worked as editor and then publisher of Casablanca magazine 1991-1998. (Casablanca’s first issue was commissioned by Tariq Ali and Richard Gott, its later issues were made by among others Robin Kinross, Elfi Pallis, Shaun Waterman, David Palmer, Colin Robinson, Patricia Scanlan, Cornelius Weber, Andrzej Borkowski). Sebestyen also started the Asylumwatch column in Red Pepper magazine.
In 1997 she published the International Roma Calendar and helped the Roma Refugee organisation. She worked as co-ordinator for its successor the Europe Roma organisation from 1998-2004, then supported the Central African Refugee Centre. She has been a member of the Network for Social Change and the Edge Fund.
Edited the anthology ’68 78 88, from Women’s Liberation to feminism, Ultra Violet press 1989 , series editor Gail Chester.
Co-edited No Turning Back, ed Barrett, Bruley, Chester, Millman [co-ordinator] , O’Sullivan, Sebestyen, Segal, The Women’s Press 1981
Introduced Prison Letters of Countess Markievicz, Virago 1986
Contributed chapters to :
On the Problem of Men, ed Elizabeth Sarah,The Women’s Press 1982
Spare Rib Reader, ed Marsha Rowe plus Hemmings, O’Sullivan, Petrie & Wallsgrove, Penguin 1982
Sisterhood Is Global, ed Robin Morgan, Penguin/Doubleday 1984/5
England - Schottland- Wales - Der Frauen, ed Ilse Zambonini, Frauenoffensive 1988
Once a Feminist, ed Michelene Wandor, Virago 1990
Women Travel, ed Miranda Davies & Natania Jansz, Rough Guides 1990
Feminism, ed Avery Elizabeth Hurt, Opposing Viewpoints Series, Greenhaven 2019.
Amanda Sebestyen has donated earlier pamphlets, books, and ephemera to Reading University, Birmingham Institute of cultural studies, the Fawcett Library (now the Women’s Library collection at LSE), Nottingham women’s library , UEL refugee studies, University of Greenwich Romani studies department, and the Feminist Library (ongoing).
Scope and content
Papers of Amanda Sebestyen and of Casablanca Publishing Limited. Includes correspondence and other papers, (1967-2010).
Organisations referenced in Sebesyen's papers include: RadFem; Left Unity; The New Putney Debates; Sisters magazine (The magazine of fabulous Muslim women); Festival of Older Women and Friends; Feminist Library; Reclaim the Night; London Feminist Network; Glasgow Women’s Library; Woman Kind organisation; 8 March Women Organisation (Iran-Afghanistan); Femi Fest; My Belly is Mine campaign (Spain); The Feminist Archive; Women for Women Refugees; Dugdal Duval; Worker’s Liberty Women; Women Asylum Seekers Together in Greater Manchester (WAST); Labour (magazine); Older Women’s Co-Housing; Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize; Women’s History Month; Women for Women International; Gender Action for Peace and Security; Green Party; White Ribbon Campaign; Socialist Party Socialist Women; Object: Women Not Sex Objects; Stop Porn Culture; Solace Women’s Aid; Demand Change! Prostitution is exploitation – Stop the demand; Eaves. Putting Women First; Women’s Trust; Female Genital Mutilation; Feminist Times; UK Feminista; Women Solidarity Platform in the UK; End Violence Against Women Coalition; YWCA (Women changing lives); More Than One Rung; KALAYAAN. Justice for Migrant Domestic Workers; Raw in War; Million Women Rise; Women Against Fundamentalism; Amnesty International; Women Against the Cuts; No Women No Peace; Women’s Resource Centre; Women Acting in Today’s Society; Go Feminist; Feminist Archive North; Abortion Support Network.