Last week, photojournalist Mimi Chakarova presented her work on sex trafficking at the Tides Momentum 2009 conference in San Francisco. Chakarova talks about her personal story—specifically her experience growing up in Bulgaria—and how that drives her work.

“I want to … let you know how surreal it is to be here right now. About two weeks ago I was in brothels in Istanbul, posing to be a prostitute for sale,” she says as an introduction. Chakarova spent the summer gathering video material for a full-length documentary about sex trafficking in Eastern Europe. This past spring, she co-produced a multimedia website with the Center for Investigative Reporting called The Price of Sex: Women Speak—it includes four intimate video profiles of women who have been trafficked as sex slaves.

Watch Chakarova’s presentation at the Momentum 2009 conference: