The Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea

Vannak Anan Prum2013/2013

Barbican Centre

Barbican Centre
London, United Kingdom

Vannak Anan Prum (born 1979) Cambodian survivor of human trafficking and comic artist is the author of graphic autobiography The Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea (2018). In 2006, Prum left Cambodia for Malai on the Thai-Cambodian border in desperate hope of seeking a job but instead ended up sold as a slave on a Thai fishing boat. For nearly four years he was trapped on board enduring dangerous working conditions and inhumane treatment at sea until he managed to escape when the boat anchored near the Malaysian coast. He was met by the police who he believed could help him, instead they sold him to a plantation where he was forced to work for another year before a Cambodian human rights organisation helped him return to his family. Documenting this traumatic experience as drawings The Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea gives an insight to the unknown lives of many men and boys who end up working on fishing boats in Asia.

This work features in Mangasia: Wonderlands of Asian Comics, a Barbican International Enterprises exhibition, curated by Paul Gravett. Mangasia presents a vivid journey through the art of Comics and visual storytelling across Asia. From its historical roots to the most recent digital innovations, the exhibition looks to popular Japanese ‘Manga’ and beyond, highlighting key creators, characters and publications.


  • Title: The Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea
  • Creator: Vannak Anan Prum
  • Date: 2013/2013
  • Location Created: Cambodia
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: Prum Vannak
  • Medium: Drawing

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