Siarhei Hudzilin

Siarhei Hudzilin photos

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Questions are rarely answered at this flea market: the competition among the counter-on-the-ground simply does not exist and it's a buyer's duty to look for a good.

Spectators are also not welcomed - even without competition, it is still business but not a museum.

Every seller of "Field of Wonders" relies only on himself or herself. The laws of market, the laws of economy start working only when the trades leave their "zone".

The sellers arrive at the place by first busses and trains. They come from Minsk outskirts and small towns by eight in the morning and closes around 3 PM.

Prices are higher in the morning as the assortment is wider. They go down as evening comes. You may find a bargain when the weather is nasty. The sellers are as motley as their goods: vagabonds, gypsies, alcoholics, pensioner babushkas, collectors, the Soviet car lovers, students, nostalgic for the USSR...

There are some professional sellers who don't want to pay high rent: the flea market is as well-visited as the general market.

Yet, not goods but epochs are sold here: the artifacts of pre-revolution times, pre-war things, the WWII stuff, Stagnation and Perestroika Era and the 1990s - though the division is quite subjective.

However, there are no experienced collectors at the "Field of Wonders", there is need and scantiness. Belarusian flea market is the conglomerate of people forced to collect and sell previously used things. There is no aesthetics of collecting.

After 15 PM, the sellers start chaotically disperse. Some pack the unsold goods in cars, some in bags, some lock them in storage railroad containers shared by several people at once.

October 2012

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