Photo credit: Hoda Afshar, via Wikimedia Commons
Behrouz Boochani (born 23 July 1983 in Ilam, Iran) is a Kurdish-Iranian journalist, writer, film producer, human rights and refugee advocate. With a master’s degree in political science, political geography and geopolitics, he co-founded, edited and wrote for the magazine Werya (Kurdish for “wise”, “informed”, “clever”), which attracted the attention of Iranian authorities because of its promotion of the Kurdish language, culture and politics. After the offices were raided by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and some of his colleagues were arrested in February 2013, Boochani left Iran and made his way to Indonesia. In the course of four months he made two attempts to cross from Indonesia to Australia in a boat. The first attempt ended in shipwreck and the second in his exile to Manus Island, a small province in Papua New Guinea, where the Australian government as part of the Pacific Solution had set up an offshore processing centre. Boochani remained detained on Manus from August 2013 to November 2019, when he was granted a one-month visa to speak at a literary festival in New Zealand. The following year, the New Zealand Government granted refugee status to Boochani, allowing him to stay in New Zealand indefinitely and to apply for residency. He publishes regularly for The Guardian, and his writing also features in The Saturday Paper, Huffington Post, New Matilda, The Financial Times and The Sydney Morning Herald. He won an Amnesty International Australia 2017 Media Award for his reporting from Manus as well as the Anna Politkovskaya Award for journalism. Boochani co-directed (with Arash Kamali Sarvestani) the 2017 feature-length film Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time, and collaborated on Nazanin Sahamizadeh’s play Manus. Boochani also writes poetry and publishes it on the Internet. His book No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison won the 2019 Victorian Prize for Literature and the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Nonfiction. He has also won the Special Award at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the Australian Book Industry Award for Nonfiction Book of the Year, and the National Biography Prize.
Published by Partizanska knjiga: Nema prijatelja osim planina.