Thursday, 27 April, 4-6:30 pm

Justus Lipsiuszaal, Blijde Inkomsstraat 21, 3000 Leuven.

Kurdish-Iranian writer, journalist, and filmmaker Behrouz Boochani and Iranian-Dutch filmmaker Arash Kamali Sarvestani will join us for the screening of their award-winning documentary film Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time (2017). The film was shot on Manus Island, largely from inside the detention centre in which Boochani was detained as an asylum seeker from 2013 until 2019. Like his book No Friend but the Mountains (2018), Chauka is the result of a clandestine collaboration via WhatsApp and provides a rare glimpse into life in indefinite detention in the offshore ‘processing centre’ on Manus Island, which was declared illegal in 2016 and closed one year later.

Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time is at once an eyewitness account of the living conditions inside the Australian offshore detention centre, an uneasily silent mediation on state violence against asylum seekers, and an urgent reflection on human rights and asylum politics.

Behrouz Boochani escaped Manus Island in November 2019 and currently resides in Wellington, New Zealand. He has been appointed adjunct associate professor in the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales and visiting professor at Birkbeck Law School at the University of London. His book No Friend but The Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison won the 2019 Victorian Prize for Literature, and has been published in 18 languages in 23 countries. Freedom, Only Freedom, a collection of his prison writings and journalistic pieces for The GuardianThe Financial TimesThe Sydney Morning Herald and other newspapers, appeared at Bloomsbury earlier in 2023. 

Arash Kamali Sarvestani is an Iranian-Dutch Filmmaker and video artist. After studying Cinema at the Art University of Teheran, he moved to the Netherlands to study Video Art at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam in 2009. His video “Title of Essay: The Sea” was the result of his close collaboration with Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami at a workshop in Barcelona in 2015. In 2016, after two years of investigation about the Australian offshore detention centres on Manus and Nauru, he started collaborating with Behrouz Boochani on Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time.

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Behrouz Boochani (© Hoda Afshar)

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