Lost & Found

Imatge del mercat de segona mà, Lost & Found, de Barcelona.

© Salva López
The fair is held in outdoor or indoor venues depending on the time of year. Alongside, last March’s edition in Estació de França. On the previous page, summer edition on Barceloneta beach.

Lost & Found is a fair that promotes contact between people who don’t know each other. Max Porta, one of the driving forces behind the project, together with his colleague Diego Albanell, explains that the idea flowered from conversations around the coffee machine: “We had seen similar initiatives outside Barcelona and we felt that the city lacked interactive public spaces where people could sell or swap household objects.” It is a quarterly fair, providing private individuals with a space where they can display and sell domestic items, from clothes to books and anything else that could be given a new lease of life in someone else’s hands. The purpose of Lost & Found is to give unused, basic objects a second chance; objects we don’t want to throw away but that we’d be happy to know someone else is putting to good use.

If we look for similar types of markets in other countries, we can find the garage sales so popular in the US and in the Netherlands. Queen’s Day in Amsterdam is one of the events that inspired this project: once a year, people stake out a piece of land and put their name on it and the next day they occupy the space for selling. With these different examples in mind, Porta and Albanell created their own model.

Lost & Found is an event that was born and has grown under the umbrella of social networks. The spirit of collaboration that permeates its modus operandi simply consists of translating relationships that began as virtual contacts into reality.

Cartell del mercat de segona mà Lost and Found, edició estiu 17 de juny de 2012.

Poster for this summer’s edition of the Lost &
Found fair.

Eight events have already been held since 2007. It took time to hit on the right model, but in the end they did so thanks to the internet. “The internet helped a lot of people get in touch with us, because we couldn’t create a conventional advertising campaign. The turning point came when we got on to Facebook, where we now have more than 5,000 friends and fans,” explains Max Porta.Dissemination through networks allowed them to expand their base of contacts. They began with 60 stalls the first year and they are predicting 350 for June of this year, and that’s only because there simply is not room for more. The sale is held on the concourse of the Estació de França train station in winter and on the beach at Barceloneta in the summer.

“People have to sign up to the website. You fill in a registra­tion form and reserve a market stall for 30 euros. Each stall is four square metres. There is self-selection. You have to offer something that sets you apart.”

Lost & Found is a market for private individuals. Shops are not permitted. “Before allocating a stall, we ask for a description of the objects that will be brought. Arts and crafts are not permitted, because then we would be competing with the craft markets in the area. Otherwise, this would just be full of craft stalls,” points out Diego Albanell.

 “The ideology of this market for private individuals can be summarised by the three Rs: reusing objects, reducing consumption and recycling”

However, Lost & Found is not just a newfangled version of a flea market. The project has several different facets to it. The first and most obvious is the market, held every three months to create a Sunday meeting place, with a party, music and dancing, widening the range of entertainment on offer in the city on a Sunday. The fun aspect is inseparable from the commercial side. The DJ group 2nd Hand Deejays provides an eclectic repertoire of music: Jamaican, jazz, soul, styles that in some way are a musical reflection of the types of product found in the market.

One of the aims of Lost & Found is to promote a sustainable way of acquiring material goods. Its philosophy can be summarised as the three Rs: reuse objects, reduce consumption and recycle. Lost & Found has gradually forged its own identity, based on a vintage feel that is evident in its posters, designed by Guillem Pericay: they ooze a kind of festive humour. The founders of this quarterly get-together are very aware that vintage is cool and attracts people. They also know that vintage is still associated with glamour, but soon enough it will serve to disguise the poverty that may be just around the corner. We’ll be recycling old things and calling them antique.

Ada Castells


One thought on “Lost & Found

  1. Em Salvador, Bahia, Brasil, necessita de um evento culturalmente popular, onde todos possam apreciar, comprar, vender, trocar, reutilizar, reaproveitar, sem as rotulações de que é novo, que é marca. O objeto pelo objeto e a sua importância, ou identificação.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *