President's note: the inaugural Australian Anthropological Society Behrouz Boochani Award

Deger, Jennifer (2020) President's note: the inaugural Australian Anthropological Society Behrouz Boochani Award. Australian Journal of Anthropology, 31 (1). pp. 6-8.

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[Extract]: The Kurdish Iranian activist, writer and poet, and adjunct Associate Professor at UNSW, Behrouz Boochani, spent six years of his life detained without charge in Australia's offshore processing regime in Papua New Guinea. Between 2014 and 2017 he was held in the notorious and now defunct Manus Island detention centre, from where he wrote and campaigned for international recognition of the human rights abuses suffered by his fellow refugees and asylum seekers. Frustrated with the language of journalism, Boochani turned to more literary and cinematic modes of social critique and analysis, using mobile phone apps to create the award-winning book, No Friend but the Mountains and the austerely poetic film, Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time, co-directed with Arash Kamali Sarvestani. These extraordinary works of art offer a kind of situated social analysis that speaks strongly, and perhaps quite particularly, to Australian anthropologists. Drawing from the intimate texture of everyday life, Boochani renders formally complex and theoretically nuanced accounts of an otherwise unknown, and indeed brutally hidden, world. These sophisticated acts of witness and analysis not only sing at the level of the sentence and video frame, they have found their way to wide and diverse audiences, breaking through the thick layers of calcified indifference and misinformation that all-too-often shapes Australian public life, so offering urgent new perspectives on our own society and the state that acts in our name.

Item ID: 67214
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 1757-6547
Copyright Information: © 2020 Australian Anthropological Society.
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2021 00:25
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4401 Anthropology > 440107 Social and cultural anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1399 Other culture and society > 139999 Other culture and society not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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