Trading places

Post-socialist container markets and the city

in Focaal
Author:
Caroline Humphrey University of Cambridge ch10001@cam.ac.uk

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Vera Skvirskaja University of Cambridge vs228@camb.ac.uk

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This article discusses a vast, new and semi-legal marketplace of shipping containers on the outskirts of Odessa, Ukraine. It is suggested that such markets, which have sprung up at several places in post-socialist space where routes intersect, have certain features in common with mediaeval trade fairs. However, today's markets have their own specificities in relation to state and legal regimes, migration, and the cities to which they are semi-attached. The article analyzes the Seventh Kilometer Market (Sed'moi) near Odessa as a particular socio-mythical space. It affords it own kind of protection and opportunities to traders, but these structures may be unstable in a changing economic climate.

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Focaal

Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology

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