Creative Nonfiction and Social Justice: In Conversation with Behrouz Boochani

30 September 2021

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join us online for a very special event: Creative Nonfiction and Social Justice: In conversation with Behrouz Boochani.

In an atmosphere of growing public concern about the processes of offshore detention, Behrouz Boochani’s book No Friend but the Mountains drew intense local and international interest when it was published in mid-2018.

The book conveys the inhumane treatment of refugees and asylum seekers imprisoned on Manus Island by the Australian government to prevent their resettlement in Australia. Boochani’s tools were successive contraband phones hidden at one stage in a cavity he carved deep in his mattress. Originally written in Farsi, No Friends but the Mountains was produced text by text under constant surveillance and the threat of retribution and violence.

In August 2019, after the book won a slew of major literary awards, the Papua New Guinean government offered to relocate all the men from Manus Island to Port Moresby. Boochani is now in New Zealand and able to reside there permanently.

In this conversation, Behrouz Boochani discusses the writing and form of his book – why he chose creative nonfiction over journalism – and the impact the book has had on Australian refugee and asylum seeker policy.

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