Communist legacy for sale: Flea market in St. Petersburg

“My apartment is full of things I bought here. My family and I use a modernist-styled 52-piece porcelain dinner service for breakfast and for dining with guests.” - says Yuri Molodkovets.

“My apartment is full of things I bought here. My family and I use a modernist-styled 52-piece porcelain dinner service for breakfast and for dining with guests.” - says Yuri Molodkovets.

Yury Molodkovets
Russian photographer Yury Molodkovets’ photo series 'Children's Album' depicts still lifes at Udelka flea market.
Yury shares his “love affair” with this place: “The flea market is all things to all people. It’s a supermarket of individuality, where there’s only one of everything, be it stuff on sale, sellers or customers. It’s an attempt to reanimate the discarded and forgotten. It’s a museum of ‘humble and downtrodden’ cultures. I love this place.”
A big area of the Udelka flea market is taken up by sellers of real vintage goods. There are also resellers of antiques and those selling “fake vintage”, stuff made in China.
"We drink champagne and vodka from Soviet crystal wine glasses and stemware made before the 1917 revolution."
There is a large collection of communist-era goods: Lenin pictures and portraits, communist stars and flags, musical instruments from Soviet times, red pioneer ties, communist literature and, right in front of that, Orthodox icons and old dolls with one eye missing.
Udelka works weekdays from early morning (8-9 am) until midday (3-4 pm). It largely depends on St. Petersburg’s moody weather. On good days everyone feels better, customers as well as sellers.
“You never know what you're going to find there. It’s one of the most unpredictable places on Earth.”
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