Everyone who is a part of the global street paper network knows what a street paper is – that extends to the staff that put each publication together and those who buy them. But the people who truly know what a street paper is – what it means – are those who sell them. Here, a collection of street paper vendors – from North Macedonia to Canada – tell us, in their own words, what a street paper is, personally to them.
David Jankovic has been working as a Liceulice vendor for 10 years. During that time, he has won the hearts of readers with his cheerful spirit and friendly manner. Here, he reflects on his childhood, his work as a Liceulice vendor and the happiness he has found in life.
Vendors in Kikinda, Serbia have taken a hit to their ability to sell the street paper Liceulice due to the COVID-19 restrictions in their city. Svetlana Kalinov shone during the height of the lockdown restrictions by selflessly encouraging a cohort of her vendor colleagues to donate their savings from selling the magazine to those struggling in the town of Novi Sad. She has also found herself helping out at a local day care centre. Liceulice, she says, makes her feel useful in a world where that connection has often evaded her.
With lockdown restrictions being pulled back in some areas, and the new normal of social distancing takes form, street paper vendors are beginning to return to the pitches they have been absent from as the COVID-19 pandemic has spread. INSP spoke to some of the publications who have begun street selling again about how they prepared their vendors and how they have managed.
As Serbia’s state of emergency to combat the coronavirus pandemic was lifted, vendors of street paper Liceulice were finally able to work again. They looked back on their experiences of lockdown and what they missed most.
Liceulice vendor Mara: “My wish for everyone, not just 25-year-olds, is to behave nicely, fight every day and enjoy their lives”
To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Two Liceulice vendors write to their 25-year-old selves about the importance of family and hard work.
In this letter, Liceulice vendor Vesna Avramović tells a very personal story. She describes the personal changes that working as a vendor have brought into her life. She used to lack the confidence to communicate, was prone to anxiety attacks and was also afraid of all sorts of rejection. In time, these tensions lessened, and she started to find joy in her life and work.
Bojana Ivanov Ljubomirov and Petar Jugovic are Liceulice vendors who have found happiness together. They were already working as magazine vendors when they met each other, and they have gone from strength to strength since joining forces to sell the magazine together. Not only are they growing in confidence; they are also building a life together and sharing their joy with others.
Serbian street paper Liceulice is launching a sister magazine, published in English, which is billed as an “extraordinary, socially responsible, activist guide for the guests of Belgrade and Serbia”. Belgrade Less Ordinary will be released twice a year with the proceeds going to Liceulice projects and, ultimately, its vendors.
In what has become a go-to style of article across street papers, Serbia’s Liceulice asked its vendors to think about what they would say to themselves when they were young – if they had the opportunity.
This year we asked vendors: if you could give a song as a present this Christmas, what would you choose? The result was the INSP Vendor Playlist, which is now available for your listening pleasure. Liculice vendors David and Svetlana offer two very different kinds of song for the playlist.
Slobodan and Milutin, Liculice vendors in Serbia, talk about love, life and phobias as they reflect on their year.
Liceulice has faced challenges this year, but Snezana and Goran tell us the street paper is still essential in Belgrade. They describe their goals for 2017.
The only street paper in Serbia is fighting closure by encouraging social media support, and selling international subscriptions plus very cool t-shirts.