Spaces of Trade in Tallinn: Uncertainty and Everyday Life

University essay from Umeå universitet/Arkitekthögskolan vid Umeå universitet


The everyday survival of the other at

the border between ‘East’ and ‘West’

is the object of this study. The country

in-between, Estonia, is a ‘melting

pot’ of Russian, Western and Nordic

influence, what makes this zone an

active, diverse, nevertheless invisible

in the global awareness.

The process of transition and rapid

neoliberalization, which is characteristic

for the post-socialist country

such as Estonia, brings together

number of side-effects, lots of

redundant people, who could not

adapt to the new regime, who speculate

and trade.

The investigation of ‘Russian’

semi-official spaces of trade in Estonian

capital, Tallinn, reveals the

values and defects of the open-air markets. 

The thesis highlights

the need to politicize the processes

around the disappearing and/or

transforming the open-air markets

in the city. In spite of the fact, that

the informal trading is often connected

with poverty, illegality, low

hygiene, distrust and crime, this

work explores the alternative ways

of trading, the power of immediacy

and aesthetics in confrontation to

the global capital.

The architecture as the transversal

practice cuts across the patterns

of trading based on irresponsible

consumerism and desire, and experiments

with the original concept

of the market with the dialogue in

front. The speculative interventions

are the sites of the common life,

production and renewal.

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