Slave Children: The Back Door

La Fábrica

year of release


on sale at


What happens after a child escapes from slavery? How can shattered innocence be restored?

This documentary project by Ana Palacios documents the experience of thousands of children who are bought and sold as slaves in West Africa, the region with the world's highest rate of child labour. Her work shows that there is a way out for these victims of modern slavery, a “back door” which some of them manage to find, open and step through to live their lives in freedom.

The documentary project includes an exhibition, which is travelling around different art centres in Spain and a film documentary distributed worldwide.

The prologue to the book is by Gervasio Sanchez and curated by Chema Conesa.

«Photographing a child is like drawing a riddle in thin air, trying to solve an equation before it has been formulated. Ana Palacios knows this and prefers not to meddle with that photographic mystery. Her trademark is the professional zeal that drives her determination to investigate, expose and draw attention to an unhappy truth, with the private hope of somehow mitigating its consequences.».

Chema Conesa – Curator

This project has been possible thanks to the collaboration of the NGOs Salesian Missions, the Carmelite Sisters of Charity Vedruna and Mensajeros de la Paz. Big thank you to UNICEF that has collaborated in the photo exhibition. 

Thanks also to the generosity of the sponsors that supported the whole project: Grupo Henneo, Gesplaza 14, Fundación Tervalis, Anagán, Fundación Kyrene, Fundación Mémora and Saphir Parfums. Big thank you to Deluxe Spain that has supported the film documentary.

**Ana Palacios will donate the royalties from this publication to the shelters for child slaves run by the Salesian Missions, the Carmelite Sisters of Charity Vedruna and Mensajeros de la Paz in Togo, Benin and Gabon.


Using Format