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Owen Bennett Jones introduces two tales of supply and demand - from countries under embargo. Sarah Rainsford lived for a while in Russia before glasnost, and remembers the days of long lines, endless shortages and central planning during its Communist era. Who would have guessed that she'd wind up working in Havana - and now looks on a trip to Moscow as a chance to stock up on the household essentials? For while Cuba still has few retail outlets which aren't run by the State, and goods are still hard to find, Russia's shaken off most of its Soviet-era controls - and some people now see shopping as a way to have fun.

Edward Lewis also gets his preconceptions challenged, in Tehran - where he found a flourishing market in new art, not just museum showpieces for the glories of the past.

Producer: Polly Hope
Photo: Supermarket shelves in Havana, July 2014 (c) BBC

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11 minutes

Last on

Fri 22 Aug 2014 19:50 GMT
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