Odra, part 1

Odra (Oder) is the second largest river in Poland. Its waters joins three countries: Czech Republic, where it starts, Poland and Germany.

I grew up on banks of this river in the communist era playing with my best friend on boats and on a landfill of rusting anchors, observing barges that transported coal. I often dreamed of jumping on such a barge and going to the unknown. When I was a teenager, I often walked many kilometers along the river searching for rare species of birds as an amateur ornithologist. At that time, Odra was just beautiful sewage - a mixture of water, feces and toxic chemical substances.

Now, after 23 years of post-communist transformation, Odra is cleaner but barges have become a rarity due to a deep and enduring crisis in river transportation.

This ongoing project is a continuation of my childhood fascination with this river. Through these photographs, I want to explore people's connections with the river and document its natural beauty, in need of protection.

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Children play in the Odra River under the Bartoszowicki Bridge in Wroclaw, Poland.
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