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Date: 13.02.2021

Time: 12:00 - 12:45

Location: Youtube

Flight, prison, freedom (digital)

The stricter infection control measures adopted by the Norwegian authorities for the Bergen region from 7-14 February mean that LitFestBergen must cancel all physical events. All ticket purchases for physical events will be refunded. This event will be streamed to YouTube.


Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani fled his Iranian homeland for Australia in 2013. Instead of offering a safe haven, the Australian government interned him and other refugees on the island of Manus far out in the Pacific. Here he witnessed hunger, torture and suicide. Boochani wrote the whole time, and smuggled out thousands of text messages which formed the basis of the autobiographical No Friends But the Mountains. Recently published in Norwegian, it received great critical acclaim and won Australia’s prize for best non-fiction book in 2019 among other awards. Boochani was among the imprisoned authors included in LitFestBergen’s postcard campaign in 2019. 

What sort of reception do asylum-seekers receive in western society today? Via a video link from his new homeland of New Zealand, Boochani meets Ann-Magrit Austenå, former general secretary of the Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers (NOAS) and Kristina Quintano, writer, publisher and human rights activist, for a conversation on flight, prison, freedom and literature. 

In collaboration with Norwegian PEN. 

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