'This place is Australia itself': Manus, Guantánamo, and Embodied Literary Resistance in Behrouz Boochani's No Friend but the Mountains

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Manus Island in Papua New Guinea is called “Australia’s Guantánamo” by critics of its use as a detention site for refugees, including Behrouz Boochani, a poet, journalist, filmmaker, and refugee imprisoned there by the Australian government for almost six years. This essay explores the usefulness and limitations of Guantánamo as a metaphor to describe Manus and other sites in Australia’s offshore detention regime. In addition, it argues that Boochani’s No Friend but the Mountains (2018) counters dis-placement and the dehumanization of refugees through literary language. Moving beyond testimony, Boochani produces a poetical, critical, and embodied response to Australia’s silencing and erasure of refugees.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-103
Number of pages29
JournalSargasso: A Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language, and Culture
Issue numberI & II
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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