Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani to receive inaugural award
Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani will be the first to receive a new award named in his honour for his "exceptional" work illustrating the living conditions of refugees in offshore processing.
Mr Boochani, who spent more than six years in detention in Papua New Guinea, will receive the award - to be perpetually known as the Behrouz Boochani Award for Services to Anthropology - from the Australian Anthropological Society on Wednesday.
Anthropologist Ghassan Hage said Mr Boochani's book, No Friend but the Mountains, is an example of anthropological writing that details a way of life not familiar to the reader.
"Mr Boochani's work makes available and details a horrendous way of life that is not easily accessible to us," he said.
"What makes it special is that it is a way of life that our government is actively creating, and actively stopping us from accessing it.
"This is what makes Mr Boochani's work exceptional in both its anthropological and its political dimensions."
AAS president Jennifer Deger said the award, which includes $1000 in prize money, will recognise work that similarly contributes to understandings of Australian society.
"The AAS is proud to honour Behrouz Boochani by way of initiating this new award in his name," she said.
Mr Boochani arrived in Auckland on a temporary visa last month after spending six years in offshore processing on Manus Island.
His passage from Papua New Guinea was secured after accepting an invitation to speak at a Christchurch writers' festival.
The award will be presented at the AAS annual conference at the Australian National University in Canberra.
Mr Boochani will accept his prize and deliver an address to the conference by video-link, after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said he would not be allowed to enter Australia.