Dean O'Brien's Blog

Summer 2010 Documentary Project….The Seventh Kilometer Market

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In the summer of 2010 I am planning to go to the Ukraine to document ‘The Seventh Kilometer Market’.  For those of you that do not know, this place is a law unto itself.  Everything can be purchased here from people to passports and kilos of heroin to weapons.  The most amazing thing about this place is that it covers around 170 acres, has an estimated 1,500 customers per day and has ‘daily’ sales totalling 20 Million US Dollars.  Most of the shops here are made up of metal shipping containers packed really close together.  The market is the largest in europe and is located seven kilometers from Odessa (hence the name).  I have visited the Ukraine twice over the past 24 months and the last visited resulted in me being arrested.  Being held in a cell and being shouted at in Russian was something that I do not want to go through again.  The British Embassy were not prepared to help and eventually I was released with a bribe.  Money is king here and westerners are considered easy pickings.  Police spot you on the street and will often shake your hand saying ‘now you give me present’ (money).  This place has been quoted as being ‘a state within a state, with it’s own laws and rules’.

I want to document day to day life at the market where ‘anything’ is for sale.  I want to go and meet the buyers and sellers.  Only by being there on a daily basis will the project be able to take its own shape.

My inspiration to do this project has came from looking at work by Phil Brooks, Peter Dench and Simon Roberts.  I have been in touch with Peter since he has done his talk at my Uni and I will be contacting him nearer to my trip for a few pointers.  I have also been in contact Simon Roberts whose book ‘Motherland’ has been an inspiration for this project.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

November 26, 2009 at 9:08 pm

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