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The colonial scar

Conversation with Behrouz Boochani

Take Me to a Beautiful Place

Debate

At a time when European Union policies are once again rejecting refugees, the writer and journalist Behrouz Boochani will speak about migration politics on a global scale based on his book No Friend But the Mountains (Raig Verd).

In 2013 Boochani had to leave Iran after being persecuted for defending Kurdish culture and identity. After he tried to reach Australia in a boat that sank, the Australian government imprisoned him for six years on Manus Island, a detention centre about 200 miles off the north coast of Papua New Guinea in which hundreds of refugees have been stripped of their basic human rights. In that island prison, Boochani wrote his devastating, poetic book No Friend But the Mountains (in Catalan, Cap altre amic que les muntanyes, Raig Verd, 2020), about how the powers-that-be can deprive people seeking asylum and solidarity of even the right to live. Can an open society be constructed if frontiers are not also open? What is the relationship between colonialism and forced migration?

This encounter with Behrouz Boochani also celebrates his being awarded the 2020 Veu Lliure (Free Voice)-Catalan PEN Prize. The other speakers are Blanca Garcés, senior research fellow in the area of Migrations and research coordinator at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB), and Ricard Garcia Vilanova, a photographer specialising in conflict zones and author of the book The Libyan Crossroad. The conversation is moderated by the journalist Mercè Folch, director of the radio programme Solidaris.

Behrouz Boochani participates in the session via videoconference.

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Behrouz Boochani

Take Me to a Beautiful Place

At a time when European Union policies are once again rejecting refugees, the writer and journalist Behrouz Boochani will speak about migration politics on a global scale based on his book No Friend But the Mountains (Raig Verd).

Watch the video

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