Kirill GolovchenkoLeg / 7km – Field of wonders, 2008

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Fotografie "Leg / 7km – Field of wonders, 2008" von Kirill Golovchenko

Seven kilometres before the gates of Odessa there is the biggest marketplace of Europe. The oldest part of the market is called » field of the miracles«. Club fender would be to call the whole market »field of the miracles«. Here earlier one grew wheat, in addition, the garbage combustion arrangement was here.

The beginnings this market go back to the second world war. In 1989 became from the most famous flea market of the Soviet Union bit by bit the biggest shopping centre of Europe. In the beginning today only 4 hectares he encloses more than 70 hectares – goods, as far as the eye reaches. »7km« nearly ten spots are bigger than the Centro in  Upper House and almost twice as largely, how the famous Mall of America in the American Bloomington. Here most shops are neither buildings nor kiosks. These are countless rows on each other stacked ship container, 16.000 in the number. On top the goods are stored, a floor is deeper sold. The shops have no names, only number. In addition still there come countless tents and pavilions. De facto the market shows a reduced effigy of Odessa. It is also a state within a state with own laws and rules. The container streets are very long and marked to the better orientation in colour. There is whiteness, yellow, blue, light blue, apricot, grey, Greens, pink street to call only some.

Toys and shoes, pots and cosmetics, CDs and computers, cars and washing machines, pencils and bedclothes, books, brooms and of course things, in all forms and colours.Everything what a person can need to the life is offered in »7 km«. Almost everything is conspicuously cheap, even for Ukrainian relations. Still the people have recently tried to survive here without having generally something.
Most goods which are offered at the market are from China, Turkey and also »import from Odessa«. To every visitor of the market is clear that impossibly everything can shut with right things if Chanel No.5 bottles are sold for 3 dollars and Nike sneakers for 25 dollars. There are controls, the tax police comes, but before it comes, there is a warning. And everything closes her stores. »7km« is opened daily except on Fridays.

With 20,000 shop assistants, more than 1,500 employees and to more than 10,000 bearers he is one of the biggest regional employers. All together more than 60,000 people work there. Many of the shop assistants have given up her state jobs in the 90s, because they could not deny with it her living. Daily there come here 200,000 retailers and single buyers from the Ukraine, Russia, the republic Moldavia and even from some European states. Also every average family from Odessa comes at least once a month. They load her carriages fully under the roof. 60% of the Ukrainians (approx. 29 millions people) buy her clothing in »7 km«. The respected market turnover amounts daily more than 20 millions American dollars. There are not precise figures.

There are similar markets, only substantially smaller, everywhere in the Ukraine and other former Soviet republics where 70 years ago the enterpriser‘s layer was exterminated. »7km« an economic system of the land reflects, so to speak. Such markets exist beside quickly developing supermarkets like metro. This » concurrent unsimultaneousness « will lead sooner or later to it that of »7km« disappears. Such markets in East Europe have stopped to exist during the first 3-5 years after the crossing to the free market economy. The destiny of the market depends on the economy of the Ukraine; as soon as develops normally, the necessity of this market is not given any more.


Über Kirill Golovchenko

Kirill Golovchenko lebt und arbeitet in Mainz und hat ein Studium in Fotografie und Design an der Universität Darmstadt absolviert. Sein Interesse gilt “dem Alltag” und liegt in der “gleichzeitigen Ungleichzeitigkeit” des Geschehens in der Gesellschaft. In seinem fotografischen Werk befasst er sich mit Unerforschtem und Unentdecktem aus Osteuropa.

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