Behrouz Boochani and Golriz Ghahraman in conversation with journalist Anke Richter.
Behrouz Boochani’s and Golriz Ghahraman’s refugee stories shine a devastating light on the fates of so many people, as borders close around the world. This is the first time they appear together to discuss their books – No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison and Know Your Place.
In 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani sought asylum in Australia but was instead illegally imprisoned in the country’s most notorious detention centre on Manus Island. This book is the result. Boochani spent nearly five years typing passages of this book one text at a time from a secret mobile phone in prison. Compiled and translated from Farsi, they form an incredible story of how, escaping political persecution in Iran, he ended up trapped as a stateless person.
When she was just nine, Golriz Ghahraman and her parents were forced to flee their home in Iran. After a terrifying and uncertain journey, they landed in Auckland where they were able to seek asylum and – ultimately – create a new life. In her open and intimate account, Ghahraman talks about making a home in Aotearoa New Zealand, her work as a human rights lawyer, her United Nations missions, and how she became the first refugee to be elected to the New Zealand Parliament. In her final chapter, she writes about welcoming Behrouz Boochani to New Zealand, where he became a free man for the first time in six years.
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Presented in association with the NZSA/PEN and Multicultural Nelson Tasman.