Narskiy I. V. Anonymous Life, Anonymous Death, Anonymous Things: about Flea Market and Secondary Materiality (.pdf) 


Annotation: The article is a sketch of a future research project. It is dedicated to European (especially German) flea markets. It outlines the history and the reasons for their appearance in Germany. It is also about different material, social and cultural functions of flea markets. This explains what brings here an exceptionally motley public: old men and young people, men and women, professors and students, collectors and amateurs, antique dealers and junkmen, rich and poor, indigenous people and migrants. The text also explains why flea markets fascinate some and scare others away. The specific rules of communication and behavior at the flea market are briefly described. Flea markets are considered in the article as an object of ethnological research, with the help of which one can look at society from an unexpected perspective and learn a lot about it - about wealth and poverty, relationships and conflicts between generations, prejudices and fears, communication and loneliness. The specificity of the article and the research project described in it is that the author uses the method of included observation. He uses his own experience of familiarity with the flea market and personal communication with its inhabitants - sellers and buyers. In this case, the flea market supplies material for an attempt to understand the circumstances of life and the unexpected death of one of the regulars of the flea market, with whom the author has good relations. This motive turns a scientific article into an almost detective story, the reading of which is captivating, although the detective story remains without a denouement. 


Key words: flea market, relic, place of memory, chronotope, handling of the past.


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