#VendorWeek is all about raising the profile of the work of street paper vendors. Often the best way to do that is to gain attention from the political elite. On Wednesday (6 February), Macedonian street paper Lice v Lice, based in the country’s capital of Skopje, linked up with two members of the Macedonian Assembly (or Parliament) to promote their work and shine the spotlight on their vendors.
The two Macedonian MPs – Maja Moracanin, of the green issues Democratic Renewal of Macedonia party, and Samka Ibraimoski, of the Party for the Full Emancipation of the Roma of Macedonia – took to the streets to sell copies of Lice v Lice magazines with a handful of vendors – Tunan, Anabela, Gordana, Valentin and Sashe.
The joint participation of the politicians came after Mr Ibraimoski supported #VendorWeek last year, raising a motion in parliament about the work of the street paper and the street paper mission in general, and then inviting two Lice v Lice vendors to address the Assembly.
This year, Mr Ibraimoski was keen to get involved again and, joined by Ms Moracanin, took to Skopje’s main square to work as vendors for the day.
Mr Ibraimoski said: “It was my honour, for a second year in a row, to join the vendors and to support them during this event. I think of myself as a social parliamentarian who takes care of the interests of vulnerable citizens. My experience today shows that it is not easy to sell a street paper. I wish all citizens were financially more stable so they could give bigger support to Lice v Lice vendors, people who have decided to work and help themselves to make their life better.”
Ms Moracanin added: “It is very important that we include marginalised persons in society. It is important for them to be dignified, but it is also important for the whole community, for the whole society. Their job is not easy at all. I would like to encourage them to work with the same enthusiasm that I saw today. They love what they do, regardless of the cold days or different reactions among the people that they are approaching. I admire their work.”
Lice v Lice vendor Tunan Sadik, one of the street papers most experienced vendors, has used his work to improve his, and his family’s, life in notable ways. He said: “I am pleased to be selling Lice v Lice. I have managed to make changes and improvements in my home because of it, and I believe that I will continue to make good progress.”
As has already been highlighted this week, the practice of vendors being accompanied by prominent public figures to emphasise the importance of their work, is common throughout the street paper network during #VendorWeek.
To coincide with this, Macedonian poet Marija Grubor donated a book of her work to support sales during #VendorWeek, with a copy given out with each sale of the magazine.
Photos by Tomislav Georgiev and Borche Popovski
Read more coverage of #VendorWeek 2019 here.