Market Values, Women’s Voices

From fresh fruit and veg to oat flat whites, Brighton Open Market has served its community for almost 100 years with women at the helm. As the market strives to remain sustainable amidst a cost of living crisis, we follow three women traders as they once again draw on their guts, determinism and resilience for another year of trading.

What we did

We have been working with a community crew of three local creatives to produce a film with a temporary title Women of the Market. The film starts with the legacy of Harriett and then looks at who the contemporary day women working in the market are. Each crew member chose a trader whose story resonated with them and the film explores what motivates Itidal, B and Hannah to show up day after day.

Market Values, Women's Voices

The Film showed as part of Brighton's Film Festival CineCity 2023- check out the trailer

The results

Interviewed Loraine Perrin to find out about

Harriett Cowley and the beginnings of the market

Shot three interviews and five moving portraits

with women traders

How we engaged with people

Thank you so much for giving me the amazing opportunity to be involved with the making of our wonderful documentary film about women at the Open Market. The final cut was absolutely brilliant, and had a perfect balance of the humour, difficulties and history around those incredible market women.

Jackie Yeates

I hope that the film encourages people to come to the market

Itidal, Buttons and Bows

Who was involved?

This film-making project was funded by Brighton & Hove City Council.


  • Esther Springett

  • Emily Atkinson

Image gallery