Annemari de Silva, MA South Asian Area Studies
The time of overspending, guilt-trips, and negative budgets is nigh. As Christmas dominates the season of holidays, we get lost in our ideological debates about consumerism and the state of institutional religion today and we forget the meaning of life: that it’s all a rat race anyway and most people get by ignoring this and instead indulging in the absurd, unequal social systems that is taken for granted. In the spirit of this absurdism, The SOAS Spirit brings you our finest selection of consumer binge delights we’ve scrounged off the internet, flyers, and hearsay.
December 3rd: 5pm – 11pm Funzing Christmas Market @ EC1Y 1BE
Let’s begin unorthodox with a market centred on experience rather than product. There’s craft, food, art, and experiental workshops and events at this Market but you have to book in advance (no payment, just registration). Check out uk.funzing.com for more information.
December 5th & 6th: 10am – 5pm The North London Vintage Christmas Market @ St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Crouch End
A more affordable market tucked away from the larger crowds shopping on the streets, the North London Vintage Markets are a more approachable sales avenue, albeit much smaller than the big tycoons like Spitalfields. Along with the usual knitwear, they also sell retro paraphernalia, including kitchenware, postcards and posters, and full-on furniture. There will also be mulled wine and nibbles for purchase.
December 12th: 11am-6pm Fair Christmas Fayre @ Regent Hall, Oxford Street
Perhaps one could see this as what SOAS bazaar would one day like to be. Products from all over the world with artists recognised and profits going to source of production and related charities, this Fayre, for all pretences of name, really attempts to provide an ethical alternative to mainstream shopping choices in London. For entrepreneurs looking ahead to find niches in London to bring the work of their connections overseas to London, perhaps checking this one out to take notes wouldn’t be an unreasonable idea.
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, December4th – 20th: 12pm – 8.30pm The Barbican Christmas Fair
This might seem an obvious choice but for fear of it being so obvious that it gets omitted and no one ever finds out about it ever again, here’s a recommendation for the ol’ Barbican. Good variety, somewhat less comfortable on the budget but good space for independent artists and collectives to sell their stuff and in turn, provides a choice for buyers to support local work.
Various days, various locations (Southbank, Brixton, Peckham, Docklands): Crafty Fox Market
Another varied market that supports local artisans and crafties. Really unusual products available, styles that challenge the artist in all of us: well worth the visit for inspiration even if not for purchase (they have a range of products for varying budgets though!). Check out www.craftyfoxmarket.co.uk for more information about times and venues.
Happy Holiday Shopping!