Writer, journalist and filmmaker Behrouz Boochani is a familiar figure to many in Ōtautahi, having made the city his first home in Aotearoa. Held for six years on Manus Island and in Port Moresby, he continued to work as a journalist despite the deprivations and cruelty suffered by detainees, becoming a regular correspondent for prominent news outlets.
His debut book No Friend But The Mountains combined prose and poetry in chronicling his hazardous boat journey to Christmas Island, seeking asylum, and subsequent incarceration on Manus. Written painstakingly via texts on a contraband cellphone as he navigated life on Manus in punishing conditions, the book powerfully highlighted the systemic oppression and injustices borne by refugees held in migrant camps, and established Boochani as a powerful and deeply humane voice advocating for human rights.
a collection of his writings as well as essays from experts on migration, refugee rights, politics, and literature. Translated and edited by Omid Tofighian and Moones Mansoubi, Freedom, Only Freedom is a joint project by the same team who produced No Friend but the Mountains. Their long collaboration puts them in a unique position to bring these stories to readers and highlight the plight of refugees around the world.
Boochani will be joined by host Tina Makereti to discuss his work, activism, prison reform, and the rights of refugees.
Supported by the Ngāi Tahu Centre at the University of Canterbury