7 km.

Atif Akin, New York, 2011

The Seventh-Kilometer Market, informally known as Tolchok (Russian for shove, shoving), is an outdoor market outside of Odessa, Ukraine. It is referred to as a case of post-Soviet heterotopia as it is located in a grey zone just outside the city boundary and yet it has exerted a huge in uence on the city’s regional clout, employment, immigra- tion and transport links.

Here is an excerpt from Other Markets:

The idea of the ‘heterotopia’ encapsulates well the multiplicity of
ways that such a transnational market challenges, yet links into, the (relatively) legal mainstream economy, culture and society. It has its own spatial lay-out and architecture – a lateral, cell-like, modular, spreading, aesthetic that contrasts with the vertical ambitions of the city centre. e market’s internal policing provides physical security and the possibility of home-like sociality for the various strands of multi-national trade networks; and this again contrasts with the xenophobia that seems to have arisen in Odessa recently. Unlike the grey and anonymous ‘non-places’ that proliferate at Western sites of connectivity (all those airport concourses, supermarket aisles, long-distance bus stations, trading floors or internet cafés, Augé 1996), the container market has become a place of intense social interaction.

Vera Skvirskaja, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Caroline Humphrey, King’s College, University of Cambridge, UK