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Market Forces

October 25, 2016

All markets depend on Labour. I’ve always been impressed and amazed at the daily cycle of labour required to operate a street market. Each day the shop has to be unloaded, moved to a stall, laid out and moved back to storage. This is one of favourite Blogs from 2011. I’m pleased to publish it again with some additional photographs.

Man moving a market stall, Whitechapel 2008

Man moving a market stall, Whitechapel 2008

Before any stall can be arranged on Whitechapel market the stall itself has to be moved into place from its over night resting place in a side street off the main road.

Young man moving goods near Time Square, New York 2005

Young man moving goods near Time Square, New York 2005

I have no idea what the young man (above) is pushing with his trolley or if the goods are destined for a street market. Nevertheless a good deal of skill and strength is needed to weave the goods between pedestrians. He achieves this unnoticed by everyone else. It is thanks to the daily efforts of people like himself that a city such as New York ticks on with an apparent effortless ease; the City depends on an army of poorly paid workers working long hours.

Chittagong railway station, 2008

Man moving goods in Chittagong railway station, 2008

The assorted blankets and cloths have come from trains arriving at the Chittagong railway terminal in Bangladesh. Once cleaned they will probably be returned to new journeys around Bangladesh or into India. Without the strength of the barefooted man (above) for this short journey they would be going nowhere.

Market trader pushing goods to his stall

Market trader pushing goods to his stall, Whitechapel market 2007

Although the majority of stalls are set out early in the morning goods can be seen moving at any time in Whitechapel market. Traders will shout ahead to warn pedestrians of their approach. As I have been known to ‘day dream’ whilst walking through the market I’ve grown to appreciate the cry of ‘mind your backs’.

Woman pushing goods on Whitechapel market

Market trader pushing goods on Whitechapel market, 2007

This market trader (above)  combines strength and balance to move her stock down Whitechapel Road. The bag around her waist is her bank, money float and office.

Rickshaw in Chittagong

Rickshaw driver transporting a fence in Chittagong, 2008

Rickshaws are not just for the movement of passengers. They are also the carriers of a multitude of items which at first you might think were unlikely candidates for a rickshaw ride. The driver is looking through the fence resting on his head and the top of the rickshaw in order to navigate his journey. Rickshaw drivers exude inventiveness when it comes to moving almost anything on their machines.

Trader pushing goods

Spitalfields market trader pushing goods under the the gaze of Christchurch Spitalfields, 1990

A woman selling shoes. Brick Lane Market 2006

A woman selling shoes. Brick Lane Market 2006

Sclater Street c.1987

Sclater Street market c.1987

Sclater Street Market 2012

Sclater Street Market 2012

One Response leave one →
  1. Clare Smithson permalink
    October 25, 2016

    Great photos Philip. I loved the markets in Delhi. My favourite place was Old Delhi, the most amazing things were witnessed there & I really miss it!

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