The photographer: Mimi Chakarova.

Guguletu township, South Africa, 2000.

When we enter to the personal web-site of Mimi Chakarova we see this photograph with the following interesting dialog:

Can I take you a picture?
For what?

To show others how you live.

Will they come here and make it better?
I don't know.. Probably not.
Why you want to shoot an old man anyway?

Because history is written on your face.

Go ahead if it pleases you.
What pleases you?
I don't remember.

Mimi Chakarova is doing documentary photography, but she has very nice aesthetics in here photographs. The following photographs are some of her photographs from the personal web-site.
Beijing, China 2005.Moldova 2004.
Moldova 2004.
Psychiatric ward, Srinagar, Kashmir 2003.
Delhi, India, 2003
Ghana, 2002.
Cuba 2001.
Port Maria, Jamaica, 1999.
From this screen shot from the video: Dubai Night Secrets we see Mimi Chakarova (right).

A short biograph of the photographer Mimi Chakarova is from here personal web-site:

Mimi Chakarova has been teaching photography at U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism for 10 years. Chakarova is the recipient of the 2003 Dorothea Lange Fellowship for documentary photography and the 2005 Magnum Photos Inge Morath Award for her photo work on trafficking in Eastern Europe, which she has reported on for the last four years.

Looking to Mimi in the photograph I was curious to find out her age which is not mentioned in her biography. Searching to internet if found also this biography:

When Mimi Chakarova's family left her native Bulgaria and migrated to Baltimore in 1989, the teenager felt alone and out of place. Desperate to find a niche, she saved her money, bought a simple point-and-shoot camera, and started taking pictures. "Baltimore was a very segregated town, both economically and ethnically," recalls Chakarova, now a lecturer in the Graduate School of Journalism. "My family was both poor and foreign, so we struggled. Since I couldn't speak English, I used the camera as a way to communicate." Her unique ability to communicate through photography has earned Chakarova the 2003 Dorothea Lange Fellowship. ...

So we read that Mimi was Bulgarian and in 1989 was teenager, thus today is around 30-35 years old. Also she has been grown up in the ex-communist regime of Bulgaria.

Watch the video Dubai: Night Secrets but also the amazing slide-show with photographs from Moldova (very beautiful photographs). The photographer combines excellent photographs with documentation.
An interesting quote of the interview of the photographer about her silde show "Moldova Price of Sex" is:

"To be successful, my photos must not only educate people, but motivate them to take action." Mimi Chakarova
Inside the video Dubai: Night Secrets we can see the film camera of Mimi Chakarova. It is a Leica M series (we cannot see the exact model).
This is an example of Leica M7 film camera. The body of this camera cost around 2.708€ and a lens for that body, ie. SUMMILUX-M 50 mm f/1.4 cost around 2550€.


14..16-Dec-2007: Odyssee youth hostel Berlin, Germany.

In this post we will see some photographs of the excellent youth hostel Odyssee in Berlin, Germany. In the first photograph we see the reception of the hostel and if we observe carefully we can see that the bar is consisting of a set of wooden boxes:
These wooden boxes were containers for guns and bullets! The building of the hostel (which is located to the east part of Berlin) used to be a factory of guns and bullets ;-).
All the hostel has very interesting decoration, and most of the walls have graffiti.
Every floor has different style of graffiti. For example here we see the graffiti of the second floor.All the hostel is very clean and well decorated:Interesting is the design of the heating system of the hostel that we see in the above photograph.

In this hostel the prices of the dormitories vary from 10-19€ and there are also available single/double and triple rooms (check photographs and prices at the web site of Odyssee hostel). In order to lock you luggages there are available metallic lockers. The hostel is located at ex-east Berlin and close to the hostel you can find a lot of Turkish fast-foods with cheap sandwiches. (general speaking the food in ex-east Berlin is cheaper that the west Berlin)!


7..9-Dec-2007: Stayokey youth hostel Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

A few days ago I was for a meeting in the Netherlands (Eindhoven), but I am stayed 3 extra days in Amsterdam. Many of the people that do not know me well, asked me where I find all the money and I travel so much. The answer is simple, if you want to travel on budget, it is not necessary to have a lot of money but being a little flexible. For example, in Amsterdam I have stayed at Stayokey youth hostel. The mixed dorm room there cost 22.8 € (the price includes a satisfactory breakfast). Here are some photographs from the hostel:
The above room is the breakfast place. From the windows you have directly view over the canal.
The dormitories are not something really special and not very clean. Some beds close by the window have a view over the canal.
Unfortunately, the shared areas of the hostel are few tables in font of the reception.
In each room there are available closets. In order to lock your luggages you need to have a locker otherwise you have to buy one for 3€ from the reception. Of course this does not apply to all Hostels in Europe. For example in Germany if you do not have a locker, you can borrow one from the reception. The Dutchs are trying from everything to earn money! :-)

This is not the best hostel I have stayed but there is a general problem with hotels in the Netherlands. Most of them are expensive without being so good. For example in Eindhoven I stayed at Holiday Inn where a room costs 190€ per night. The room had a dirty carpet, in the air you could smell the smell of cigarettes and I wasn't satisfied for some services (for example the internet was very expensive / 22€ for 24 hours internet).