Photo essay from a Balkan village

On a trip through the Balkans, our car broke in a very small village. While waiting for the car to be repaired, we were invited to spent the afternoon by a hospitable family, who gave us a little insight into their everyday life. The oldest woman in the house asked me to take a picture of her – that might be her last photo – she said.

I took the picture, of course very moved from her wish. She didn’t ask to have or see it.

She was very happy to have a chat with me and to share her story. Who knows if strangers come to this place at all!

She was born in Bulgaria into a very, very poor family. Her father had to sell her as a maid, so that the family would have something to eat. She came to live with a rich family in Istanbul – thank God, a warm family – she said. Despite her household responsibilities, she was treated as an own daughter and received good education. A few years later she was dismissed from her duties and returned to Bulgaria to start her own family. Since then she lives in this small village.