Behrouz Boochani launches his book, No Friend But the Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison

When:2 Aug 2018, 6:30pm - 8pm
Venue:Ritchie Theatre, UNSW Kensington Campus
Who:Behrouz Boochani with Dr Omid Tofighian and Moones Mansoubi
Behrouz Boochani

The venue for this event has changed. Due to high demand we are moving to a larger venue, the Ritchie Theatre, still on the UNSW Kensington Campus. Details for this location are at the bottom of this page.

Presented by Live Crossings with UNSWriting
Pan MacMillan Australia and Picador

This is a free event

Book now

“I am disintegrated and dismembered, my decrepit past fragmented and scattered, no longer integral, unable to become whole once again. The total collection of scenes turned like pages of a short story, churned through with the speed of light. My god, prison is so horrific.”

Since 2013, writer, journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani has been held in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. This book is the result: an act of survival. A first-hand account. A creative cry of resistance.

Written by Boochani in Farsi and translated by Dr Omid Tofighian, No Friend But the Mountains is a vivid portrait of almost five years of incarceration.

Join Dr Tofighian, writer Janet Galbraith and translation consultant Moones Mansoubi, to hear them converse with Boochani himself via Whatsapp. Special guest Martine Antle will briefly speak on exile and art as part of this event.

You can purchase this book at the event with 10% off the retail price. 

Image above // Stefan Armbruster

Behrouz Boochani


Behrouz Boochani

Behrouz Boochani graduated from Tarbiat Moallem University and Tarbiat Modares University, both in Tehran; he holds a Masters degree in political science, political geography and geopolitics. He is a Kurdish-Iranian writer, journalist, scholar, cultural advocate and filmmaker. He is currently a political prisoner incarcerated by the Australian government in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre (Papua New Guinea). Boochani was writer for the Kurdish language magazine Werya; is Honorary Member of PEN International; winner of an Amnesty International Australia 2017 Media Award, the Diaspora Symposium Social Justice Award, and Liberty Victoria 2018 Empty Chair Award; and is non-resident Visiting Scholar at the Sydney Asia Pacific Migration Centre (SAPMiC), University of Sydney. He publishes regularly with The Guardian, and his writing also features in The Saturday Paper, New Matilda, and The Sydney Morning Herald. Boochani is also co-director (with Arash Kamali Sarvestani) of the 2017 feature-length film Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time; collaborator on Nazanin Sahamizadeh’s play Manus; and author of No Friend But The Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison (Picador Australia 2018).

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Omid TofighianOmid Tofighian is a lecturer, researcher and community advocate, combining philosophy with interests in rhetoric, religion, popular culture, transnationalism, displacement and discrimination. He completed his PhD in philosophy at Leiden University, Netherlands, and graduated with a combined honours degree in philosophy and studies in religion at the University of Sydney. Tofighian has lived variously in Australia where he taught at different universities; the United Arab Emirates where he taught at Abu Dhabi University; Belgium where he was a visiting scholar at K.U. Leuven; Netherlands for his PhD; and intermittent periods in Iran for research. His current roles include Assistant Professor in Philosophy at American University in Cairo; Honorary Research Associate for the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney; faculty at Iran Academia; and campaign manager for Why Is My Curriculum White? - Australasia. He contributes to community arts and cultural projects and works with refugees, migrants and youth. He has published numerous book chapters and journal articles, is author of Myth and Philosophy in Platonic Dialogues (Palgrave 2016) and translator of Behhouz Boochani's book No Friend But The Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison (Picador Australia 2018).

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Moones MansoubiMoones Mansoubi graduated from UNSW with a Masters degree in international relations and was the first to translate Behrouz Boochani’s work since he began writing from Manus Island. Her translation of the article ‘An Island Off Manus’ (The Saturday Paperon 6 May, 2017) was included in Behrouz’s winning nomination for the Amnesty Media Award in 2017. She has also worked on numerous programs for the ABC and SBS and was translation consultant for Boochani’s book No Friend But The Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison (Picador Australia 2018) Since arriving in Australia in 2013 she has worked extensively with refugees and people seeking asylum and her translation work has made a significant contribution to many projects and campaigns. She is currently coordinator of the Refugee Welcome Centre in Inner West Sydney.

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Janet GalbraithJanet Galbraith is a poet and writer living on the un-ceded lands of the Jaara people. She founded and co-facilitates Writing Through Fences, a group that resources writers and artists incarcerated by Australia’s immigration detention industry. Galbraith’s work has been published in anthologies, literary and academic journals and newspapers including Cordite, Mascara, AFLJ, and The Saturday Paper; her multi-media work and poetry have been performed in festivals throughout Australia. Galbraith’s poetry collection ‘re-membering’ was published by Walleah Press in 2013.

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Live Crossings

Launched this year, Live Crossings is an online open-access magazine of creative practice and live performance events supporting the work of refugee and Indigenous writers and performers.

Live Crossings is also a network of creative practitioners working together to generate new forms of expression, critique, and social dialogue, and to develop alternative ways to pursue questions around differences and diversity. It is based in the School of the Arts and Media at UNSW and supported by UNSW Creative Practice Lab.

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Finding us

** New Venue **
The Ritchie Theatre in the middle of the UNSW Kensignton Campus, map location G19. This theatre is on the lower floor of the John Niland Scientia Building off the central UNSW Walkway.

Ritchie Theatre is wheelchair accessible and audio loop enabled. Please contact us if you have any access requirements.  //  9385 5684

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Download a campus map.  (PDF)

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