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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Vannak Anan Prum


Vannak Anan Prum is a Cambodian survivor of human trafficking. While looking for work on the Thai border, he was detained as a slave on a fishing boat for four years until he escaped by literally jumping ship. His rescuers on the Malaysian coast sold him to a plantation, where he labored for another year before an NGO helped him return to his family. Upon his return, he drew pictures of what he remembered in order to prove and explain his whereabouts during his hellish years as a modern-day slave. Though he never had any formal education or training in art, Vannak had long loved drawing—first in the dirt, then on wooden boards with dried clay, until one day in his youth when a Vietnamese soldier gave him paper and pencils.