Festival Program

Suburban Program

The End of Detention

Sun 5 Sep, 3.30pm
Bunjil Place Theatre

While the response to COVID-19 has dominated headlines this past year, the pandemic has only heightened the isolation and suffering of refugees in Australian detention. Hear from former Manus detainee and award–winning No Friend but the Mountains author Behrouz Boochani speaking out on Australia’s unending detainment of asylum seekers, the policy’s roots in colonial history, and Boochani’s contribution to Behind the Wire, an oral history project telling the stories of those in mandatory detention. Boochani appears live on screen from New Zealand, joining Behind the Wire curator André Dao, with interviewer Jessie Taylor.

In partnership with Bunjil Place and Casey Cardinia Libraries


1 hour


Event artists

Associate Professor Behrouz Boochani is a Kurdish-Iranian writer, journalist, scholar, cultural advocate and filmmaker. He publishes regularly with the Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Huffington Post, New Matilda, The Financial Times and The Sydney Morning Herald. His book, No Friend But The Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison, won the 2019 Victorian Prize for Literature in addition to the Nonfiction category. He was a political prisoner incarcerated by the Australian government in Papua New Guinea for almost seven years. He now resides in Christchurch.

André Dao's debut novel, Anam, won the 2021 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. He is the co-founder of Behind the Wire, an oral history project documenting people’s experience of immigration detention. He is also a producer of the Walkley Award-winning podcast, The Messenger.

Jessie Taylor is a barrister at the Victorian Bar and a human rights advocate. She's a director of donkey wheel, former president of Liberty Victoria, and co-creator of the documentary Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. She has three little boys and devours audiobooks like her life depends on it.

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