Artist Prum Vannak has been a unique supporter of the anti-trafficking movement. As a web exclusive for Our Books, he shares a few scenes from his eventful life in the last year.
After escaping from labor trafficking, Vannak’s friends in his rural Pursat village didn’t believe him. So he drew about it, laboriously detailing his time trapped on a fishing boat.
“A lot of migrants are trafficked to work on fishing ships in the gulf of Thailand and Malaysia. They work day and night, with no time to rest.”
It didn’t go unnoticed. His expressive and heartfelt drawings took him to meetings, workshops and eventually recognition from the US State Department.
Workshop at Immigration Department in Taiwan, 2012.
Meeting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Publishers have taken interest in collecting the artist’s works as a graphic novel, and we’ll share more news as plans progress. When he’s not busy fighting the good fight, Vannak is looking to branch out into commercial illustration.
You can read more about Prom Vannak on his artist profile page.
Once a year, cartoonists around the world participate in 24 Hour Comics Day! Java Café & Gallery will host a Cambodian contingent joining cartoonists all over the planet who are attempting to draw 24 pages in 24 hours.
The 24 Hour Comic is a ‘free drawing’ exercise designed to unlock creativity. Our Books has been developing Project: 24 since October 2008 to gradually introduce Cambodian artists to this unique exercise and the global comics community.
This year marks the second time Cambodian comic artists will attempt to ‘go the distance’ for a full drawing day. Cambodian and overseas artists are welcome to join the drawing marathon at Java Café’s downstairs space, beginning at 8am SHARP October 02.
Art supplies, paper and coffee will be provided until 8am the following morning. One-page efforts from 2008 and 2009 will be posted as example and incentive for this year’s effort. (Our Books is developing a collection of these two years, ’48 Hours’. )
All artwork will be posted as it is finished on the walls of Java Café, to be exhibited for the following month. A live webcam linkup and Twitter feed will be accessible via http://www.javaarts.org/24/ . Staff from Cambodia’s comics nonprofit Our Books will be on hand to scan pages and assist overall documentation of the event.
Pages will be on sale at the discretion of the artist. (We request that they remain on display at Java for the following month’s display.)
As with prior years, we offer participants a ‘Cambodian Variation': One artist — one page — one hour of the day. Many Khmer artists have jobs, school, and family obligations, but all artists who have an hour to spare are welcome to join the exhibition!
‘Best of’ pages from 2008 and 2009 are being collected in print and have been archived on the web as a ‘Who’s Who’ of contemporary Khmer comic art by Our Books, as well as sent to the permanent 24 Hour Comics archive.
Event Time: 8am Saturday October 02 to 8am Sunday October 03.
Event Location: Java Café & Gallery, 56e1 Sihanouk Blvd, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=157967840889207
+855 (0)12 526 840 (John, Our Books)
+855 (0) 12 894 180 (Dana, Java Café)
Life’s Choices (Khmer language) is now available from your Our Books, Pact Cambodia, and many local NGOs for free! We have a limited number of copies available in English as well.
Online, as webcomic: http://www.lifes-choices-cambodia.net/