When Mimi Chakarova was in Ghana working on a photojournalism project, someone in a car full of young men grabbed the strap of her camera bag and attempted to drive off with it. Chakarova wouldn’t let go of the camera case, and was dragged behind the car for half a block until the case’s double-stitched strap broke. “I just couldn’t stand the thought of some German tourist buying my Leica for $100,” she says.
Chakarova, a documentary photographer who teaches journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, is currently immersed in two long-term projects, one documenting the military standoff in Kashmir and the other focusing on the sex trafficking of women in Eastern Europe. Born in Bulgaria under communism, Chakarova grew up in a village “running barefoot and playing with the chickens.”
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