Lawlessness and sectarian violence quickly engulfed Iraq after the fall of Saddam, leaving women especially vulnerable. Correspondent Anna Badkhen and photojournalist Mimi Chakarova visited a secret women’s shelter in Baghdad to meet with rape victims and war widows and document their stories. CIR spoke to the reporters in their hotel room in Baghdad via Skype for this episode of The Investigators. The Investigators is CIR’s web-video series highlighting investigative reporting—as it happens—by journalists around the world.

Anna Badkhen has covered wars in Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Chechnya and Kashmir. She has reported extensively from Iraq since 2003. Her reporting has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The National, FRONTLINE/World, Truthdig, and Salon. Her book, “A War Reporter’s Pantry,” will be published in January 2011 by Free Press/Simon&Schuster. Read her reporter’s blog for CIR.
 
Mimi Chakarova is a photojournalist and photography instructor at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Her solo exhibitions include documentary projects on South Africa, Jamaica, Cuba, Kashmir and Eastern Europe. She is currently working on two long-term projects that examine the conflict in Kashmir and sex trafficking of women in Eastern Europe. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, CBS News 60 Minutes, and FRONTLINE/World.

Learn more about this story on FRONTLINE/World: “Iraq: Living in Hiding” Support for this project was provided in part by CIR’s Dick Goldensohn Fund.

PRODUCED AND EDITED BY CARRIE CHING
PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO BY MIMI CHAKAROVA

Anna Badkhen

Anna Badkhen has covered wars in Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Chechnya and Kashmir. She has reported extensively from Iraq since 2003. Her reporting has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The National, FRONTLINE/World, Truthdig, and Salon. Her book, "A War Reporter's Pantry," will be published in January 2011 by Free Press/Simon&Schuster. She lives in Massachusetts.

Mimi Chakarova

For the past decade, photographer and filmmaker Mimi Chakarova has covered global issues examining conflict, corruption and the sex trade. Her film "The Price of Sex," a feature-length documentary on trafficking and corruption premiered this spring. Chakarova was awarded the Nestor Almendros Award for courage in filmmaking at the 2011 Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York. She was also the winner of the prestigious 2011 Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting.

This is Chakarova's 14th year teaching visual storytelling at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. She's also taught at Stanford University's African and African American Studies and Comparative Studies for Race and Ethnicity.

She is the recipient of the 2003 Dorothea Lange Fellowship for outstanding work in documentary photography and the 2005 Magnum Photos Inge Morath Award for her work on sex trafficking.

Other awards include a People's Voice Webby as well as a nomination for a News & Documentary Emmy Award.

Chakarova's work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Ms., The Sunday Times Magazine, London, CBS News' "60 Minutes," CNN World, PBS' FRONTLINE/World and the Center for Investigative Reporting among others. In 2007, Chakarova became the series curator of FRONTLINE/World's FlashPoint, featuring the work of photojournalists from around the world. She is currently a correspondent at the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Capitalism, God, And A Good Cigar: Cuba Enters The Twenty-first Century, published by Duke University Press in 2005, features over 75 of Chakarova's documentary photographs of Cuba.

Mimi Chakarova received her BFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and her MA in visual studies from UC Berkeley. She has had numerous solo exhibitions of her documentary projects on South Africa, Jamaica, Cuba, Kashmir and Eastern Europe.

Carrie Ching

Carrie Ching is an award-winning, independent multimedia journalist and producer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For six years, she led digital storytelling projects at the Center for Investigative Reporting as senior multimedia producer. Her multimedia reports have been featured by NPR.org, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Grist, Time.com, Fast Company, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, KQED, PBS NewsHour, Salon.com, Mother Jones, Public Radio International, Poynter, Columbia Journalism Review and many other publications. Her specialty is crafting digital narratives and exploring ways to use video, audio, photography, animation and interactive graphics to push the boundaries of storytelling on the Web, tablets and mobile. Her work has been honored with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Best of the West, the Online News Association, Scripps Howard, The Gracies, and was part of the entry in a Pulitzer-finalist project. Prior to her time at CIR she was a magazine and book editor, video journalist, newspaper reporter and TV comedy scriptwriter. She was on the 2010 Eddie Adams Workshop faculty as a multimedia producer working with MediaStorm to teach digital storytelling techniques to photojournalists. She completed a master’s degree in journalism at UC Berkeley in 2005.