Masters Series: Behrouz Boochani with translators, Omid Tofighian & Moones Mansoubi
The episode includes conversations Kate had with Behrouz in Aotearoa at Verb Wellington and in Naarm, Melbourne ahead of his sold out event at The Wheeler Centre. At Behrouz's request, Kate also spoke to his translators and collaborators Omid Tofighian & Moones Mansoubi about how they work together, the making of the new book Freedom, Only Freedom: The Prison Writings of Behrouz Boochani and the current situation in Iran.
We feel very lucky to have had this opportunity to speak to Boochani, Tofighian & Mansoubi about their work to bring the stories of Manus Prison to the global community.
Associate Professor 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.
Moones Mansoubi is a translator and Community Arts and Cultural Development worker based in Sydney. Her work is dedicated mainly to supporting and collaborating with migrants and people seeking asylum in Australia.
Omid Tofighian is an award winning lecturer, researcher and community advocate. His publications include the translation of Boochani’s award winning No Friend But the Mountains: Writings from Manus Prison.
Boochani was a writer for the Kurdish language magazine Werya; is Associate Professor in Social Sciences at UNSW; non-resident Visiting Scholar at the Sydney Asia Pacific Migration Centre (SAPMiC), University of Sydney; Honorary Member of PEN International; and winner of an Amnesty International Australia 2017 Media Award, the Diaspora Symposium Social Justice Award, the Liberty Victoria 2018 Empty Chair Award, and the Anna Politkovskaya award for journalism.
He publishes regularly with The Guardian, and his writing also features in The Saturday Paper, Huffington Post, New Matilda, The Financial Times 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; and collaborator on Nazanin Sahamizadeh's play Manus.
Boochani's book, No Friend But The Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison won the 2019 Victorian Prize for Literature in addition to the Nonfiction category. 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. It has been published in 18 languages in 23 countries and is currently being adapted for both stage and screen.
Behrouz has been appointed adjunct associate professor in the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of NSW and visiting professor at Birkbeck Law School at the University of London.
He was a political prisoner incarcerated by the Australian government in Papua New Guinea for almost seven years. In November 2019 Behrouz escaped to New Zealand. He now resides in Wellington, New Zealand.
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