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. He is a Kurdish-Iranian writer, journalist, scholar, cultural advocate and filmmaker.
His book, No Friend but the Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison won the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards’ Victorian Prize for Literature in addition to the non-fiction category. It has also won the Special Award at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the Australian Book Industry Award for non-fiction Book of the Year, and the National Biography Prize. It has become an international bestseller and has been sold into nineteen countries.
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, The Huffington Post, New Matilda, The Financial Times and 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.
He 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. His application for asylum was accepted by New Zealand in July 2020, and he now lives and works in Christchurch.